City firms back disability access event

A group of top City law firms are hosting a unique event to help talented disabled students break into the legal profession.

‘Open 2012’, which will take place on 3 February, will give aspiring lawyers with disabilities the opportunity to take part in a number of workshops and presentations with law firms Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Clifford Chance, Eversheds, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hogan Lovells and Linklaters.

The event follows the success of the first ‘Open’ last year, which was created by My Plus Consulting, an organisation that helps employers understand and address the issues around disability.

Founder of the organisation Helen Cooke said: “Last year’s event was a huge success from [the] students’ point of view. The aim was for them to build confidence that if they wanted a career in law their health or disability wouldn’t stop

“In terms of meeting their objectives we could see the individuals went away brimming with confidence. From the firms’ point of view it was also a huge success, and they were delighted with the high calibre of the students.”

This year a skills session on application and interview techniques has been added to the event, along with the opportunity for the students to network with trainee solicitors, senior lawyers and recruiters.

Student Andrew Lister, who attended the event last year, said: “I thought Open 2011 was a great chance to meet the employers themselves and find out more about the application process. They were all very friendly and encouraging and they have made me much more comfortable talking about my disability when applying.”