Diversity scheme gives talented students the chance to enter the law

Talented aspiring solicitors are invited to apply for a place on the profession’s Diversity Access Scheme (DAS), the Law Society of England and Wales said as it opened recruitment for the 2023 cohort.

DAS aims to help improve social mobility and diversity in the legal profession by supporting people who face exceptional social, educational, financial or personal obstacles to qualifying as a solicitor.

To date, the scheme has supported nearly 300 talented trainees to pursue their career ambitions.

It’s open to those looking to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) who need help with funding, accessing real work experience opportunities or meaningful mentoring and might otherwise struggle to get the support they need to succeed.

Law Society president Lubna Shuja said: “Our profession needs talented, driven individuals from diverse backgrounds to thrive. I encourage any aspiring solicitor who is facing particular challenges on their way to qualification to consider applying for a place on the scheme,

“I am immensely proud of our DAS awardees and all they’ve achieved. Many are from less advantaged backgrounds, almost a third are disabled and over two-fifths are Black, Asian or minority ethnic.

“Among our DAS alumni are care-leavers and people who came to the UK having fled oppressive regimes.

“The Law Society looks forward to welcoming at least 15 new awardees onto the Diversity Access Scheme this year and helping them launch a highly rewarding career in the law.”

2022 DAS awardee Ayna Rashed* said: “The Diversity Access Scheme has allowed me to gain my confidence again after having doubts about my future as solicitor.

“As an awardee, I have felt immensely supported by the Law Society and my mentor. The opportunity to undertake work experience at different law firms and in-house organisations means that I can build valuable skills whilst studying.

“Being part of a DAS cohort also means connecting with a range of different people, which made me feel like I am not alone in this process.”

Notes to editors

Recruitment is open from 22 February to 16 April 2023.

Find out more about the Diversity Access Scheme

Find out about the SQE

All inquiries about the scheme from potential participants or sponsors can be sent to Leila Lesan.

* Ayna Rashed is a pseudonym for one of our awardees who requested anonymity.

The Diversity Access Scheme is sponsored by:

  • Natwest Legal
  • Withers LLP
  • Kingsley Napley
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Sackers
  • Nottingham Law School
  • BPP Law School
  • The University of Law
  • University of Westminster
  • UBS

For interviews with alumni, contact Naomi Jeffreys (contact details below).

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Naomi Jeffreys | 020 8049 3928

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