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Diversity Access Scheme

  • Jonathan Smithers' letter to colleagues Jonathan Smithers, president of the Law Society, described the DAS scheme in this recent letter to his colleagues (PDF 1.2mb).

    What is the Diversity Access Scheme (DAS)?

    The Law Society Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) aims to increase social diversity in the legal profession by supporting promising entrants from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who face exceptional obstacles to qualification.

    The DAS offers the following support to successful applicants:

    • financial assistance through the provision of Legal Practice Course fees
    • access to relevant high-quality work experience
    • a professional mentor

    What is the DAS PLUS?

    The DAS PLUS award provides assistance with fees for the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and guarantees a training contract at a national Law Centre for the successful applicant.

    In order to be eligible to apply for DAS PLUS, applicants must meet the standard DAS criteria and must either be:

    • an employee of six months or longer at a national Law Centre on the date DAS PLUS applications open or
    • a volunteer of six months or longer at a national Law Centre on the date DAS PLUS applications open.

    One DAS PLUS award will be available in 2016.

    Who should apply for the DAS and DAS PLUS?

    Eligibility criteria for the DAS can be found in the top right hand corner of this page. Please read this criteria carefully to see whether you are eligible to apply.

    DAS Alumni

    Previous alumni have experienced time in local authority care, resisted coercion into arranged marriage, escaped oppressive regimes and battled for access to university with severe physical disabilities.

    Other alumni have not had to face these sorts of extraordinary challenges but have faced financial and social hardship growing up in households where there was very little money and support to enable them to pursue their studies.

    Whatever their obstacles, all have shown tenacity and commitment to furthering their career and the academic skills to become solicitors.

    In the video below, Diversity Access Scheme alumni, Richele Bridge, shares her experience of how the Law Society supported her to pursue a career in law.

  • How you and your firm can be involved in the Diversity Access Scheme

    If you would like to support the scheme by:

    • sponsoring a place
    • acting as a mentor
    • offering work experience opportunities

    please email: diversityaccessscheme@lawsociety.org.uk.

    Sponsors

    The Diversity Access Scheme benefits from the generous support of the A W Blackwell Bequest.

    The DAS is also generously sponsored by the follow organisations:

    • RBS
    • Eversheds
    • BP
    • Withers LLP
    • Reed Smith
    • Hogan Lovells

    Supporters

    The DAS also receives the generous support of the following institutions:

    • Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University
    • University of Westminster
    • BPP Law School
    • The University of Law