Diversity Access Scheme

Applications for the Diversity Access Scheme 2021 are now open.

Group of colleagues sat around a table

Applications to the Diversity Access Scheme will open on 1 March 2021.

Full details of how to apply, including the application guidance and application form, will be available on our website from 1 March. For urgent enquiries, contact diversityaccessscheme@lawsociety.org.uk.

The Diversity Access Scheme 2021 will offer awardees funding for either LPC or SQE fees.

This year, the DAS will be offering funding for either the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).

Make sure you read the eligibility criteria and application guidance before starting your application.

If you have any questions not covered by the application guidance, check the FAQ at the bottom of this page.

If you require additional support or adjustments, email diversityaccessscheme@lawsociety.org.uk.

The DAS supports talented and tenacious aspiring solicitors from less advantaged backgrounds. It provides funding, work experience and mentoring for successful applicants.

Who can apply

Read the full eligibility criteria (PDF 77 KB) to see who can apply.

How to apply

Read the application guidance (PDF 282 KB) before completing your application form.

You can apply for the scheme via:

We prefer applications using our online form where possible.

If you're submitting a PDF or Word application, email your completed application to diversityaccessscheme@lawsociety.org.uk

The deadline for applications is Sunday 25 April 2021.

If you're visually impaired and need assistance accessing the DAS application guidance, eligibility criteria and application form, email Leila at diversityaccessscheme@lawsociety.org.uk

Work experience and mentoring

As part of the scheme, we offer you the chance to be matched with a professional mentor and to get work experience during your studies. We’ll help find a placement in a practice area that interests you. 

Find out how the Diversity Access Scheme has helped others

Results of the 2020 scheme

The 2020 application process closed on 27 April. We received 153 applications. We shortlisted 31 applications for interview and made 10 awards.

We made changes to the process in 2020 to encourage more diversity in applications and to adapt to the COVID-19 restrictions.

Download our report on the 2020 process (PDF 474 KB) 

Our sponsors

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

BP plc BPP University Law School Hogan Lovells The University of Law NatWest

 

Nottingham Trent University Law School RBS Group Sackers

UBS University of Westminster Withers LLP

 

Frequently asked questions

No. The DAS provides funding for either the LPC, LPC combined with LLM or SQE assessments/preparation courses only.

We do not provide funding for any other courses.

Yes. We accept applicants who wish to study on either a full-time or part-time basis.

We understand that many of our awardees will need to work alongside study and that doing the LPC on a part-time basis can achieve the best balance.

Yes. We do not discriminate and welcome applications from aspiring solicitors of all ages who are talented, tenacious and committed to joining the profession.

No, you do not have to have a confirmed place when you apply.

However, if you're successful in your application, your award is conditional upon gaining a place on the LPC or SQE preparation course/assessments for the current academic year (2021/2022).

For the LPC, we specify either a September or January start.

No. We do not accept deferrals.

If you apply to the DAS, you must be ready to start your LPC or SQE preparation course/assessments in the current academic year.

No. The DAS award is purely for LPC or SQE fees which are paid directly to your LPC or SQE provider.

The DAS does not provide any living costs and therefore you must be certain you are able to support yourself during study.

We do not ask for your GCSE or A-level grades.

Many firms and in-house legal teams ask for an upper second class or first class degree, and so we do ask that if you went to university and did not achieve your academic potential that you tell us why.

We understand that some students may have been studying under difficult circumstances that may have had a negative impact on their overall degree result.

Where possible, we ask that you fill in your application using the online form.

If that’s not possible, we ask that you use the PDF form and type in the answers.

You may apply to the DAS as long as you:

  • have the relevant visas in place
  • are committed to practising as a solicitor in England and/or Wales
  • meet our eligibility criteria

The DAS does not provide funding for the QLTS nor does it provide assistance with living costs.

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