Diversity scheme opens door for gifted trainees

Talented trainee 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 2022 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 more than 260 talented awardees 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.

“For our profession to thrive, we need talented individuals from diverse backgrounds. I encourage any aspiring solicitor who is facing particular challenges on their way to qualification to consider applying for a place on the scheme,” said Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce.

“I’m immensely proud of our DAS scholars. They have each faced particular challenges to qualification.

“Many are from less advantaged backgrounds, almost a third are disabled, and over two-fifths are Black, Asian or minority ethnic. Among them 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.”

2021 DAS awardee Bethany Hall said: “I was told that attending university was a bad idea due to the financial difficulties that I would encounter. Despite this, I pursued an undergraduate law degree and worked alongside my studies in order to fund myself through the three years.

“Although studying law made me realise that I did not fit into the mould of a stereotypical lawyer, this made me more determined to become a solicitor in the future. However, my plans to study the LPC came to a standstill once I was placed on furlough during the final year of my undergraduate degree.

“Alongside the financial support awarded by the DAS, the confidence boost and opportunities on top of that is second to none. With the support of the Law Society and mentors from a top law firm, obtaining a career in law no longer seems so daunting.”

Notes to editors

Recruitment is open from 23 February to 20 April 2022.

Find out more about the Diversity Access Scheme

Find out about the SQE

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

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

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

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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