Diversity Access Scheme
Applications for the Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) 2021 have now closed. We'll inform applicants whether they've been shortlisted for interview by the end of June.
The Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) supports talented and tenacious aspiring solicitors from less advantaged backgrounds. It provides funding, work experience and mentoring for successful applicants.
This year, the DAS offered funding for either the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).
Who can apply
Read the full eligibility criteria (PDF 77 KB) to see who can apply.
How to apply
The deadline for applications was Sunday 25 April 2021.
If you're visually impaired and need assistance accessing the application guidance and eligibility criteria, email Leila at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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 QLTS nor does it provide assistance with living costs.