Diversity and inclusion

Diversity Access Scheme

The Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) is a unique scholarship programme, designed to address key barriers to the solicitors’ profession faced by those from less advantaged backgrounds.

Group of diverse young professionals sat around table talking and smiling

Through the DAS, we're able to support talented, aspiring solicitors to pursue their legal education and careers through:

  • Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) scholarships
  • mentoring
  • work experience

The 2022 application process closed on 20 April 2022.

Who can apply

Read the full eligibility criteria for 2022 (PDF 77 KB) and application guidance to see whether you're eligible to apply for a DAS scholarship.

If you have any questions, please check the FAQs below or email diversityaccessscheme@lawsociety.org.uk

How to apply

Applications for the DAS 2022 closed on 20 April 2022.

Read the application guidance for 2022 (PDF 282 KB) 

If you're visually impaired and need assistance accessing the application guidance and eligibility criteria, 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. 

We'll also build formal soft skill support sessions into the DAS next year, including:

  • commercial awareness training
  • advice on interview technique
  • support with training contract applications

The training will be delivered through our careers team and DAS sponsors. 

Find out how the Diversity Access Scheme has helped others

Results of the 2021 scheme

The 2021 application process closed on 25 April 2021. We received 277 applications. We shortlisted 34 applications for interview and made 15 awards.

The report shares insight into the 2021 scheme, including:

  • the application and interview process
  • how DAS was marketed and promoted
  • commentary from our awardees
  • anonymised diversity data of applicants through different stages of the application process

Download our report on the 2021 applications (PDF 645 KB) 

Our sponsors

The Diversity Access Scheme benefits from the generous support of the A W Blackwell Bequest and the support of Kingsley Napley in offering the Brandusa Tataru-Marinescu Award for Diversity and Inclusion.

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 Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) nor does it provide assistance with living costs.

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