The first profession-wide social mobility programme, Prime, has more than doubled its number of signatories.
The revolutionary scheme now has 50 law firms signed-up, recently attracting top 20 firms Taylor Wessing and Simmons & Simmons.
Other law firms that have thrown their weight behind the initiative include Latham & Watkins and Mayor Brown, while Howard Kennedy, Irwin Mitchell, Macfarlanes, SJ Berwin, Stephenson Harwood, Squire Sanders Hammonds, Travers Smith and Withers have expressed their intention to join.
Prime was born out of Allen & Overy senior partner David Morley’s brainchild of a collaborative approach towards social mobility (4 April 2011).
The most striking aspect of the programme, which was launched officially on 10 September 2011, is that each firm has to commit to at least half the number of places it currently offers in training contracts, with a target for the wider profession of 2,500 places by 2015.
Each firm has pledged to offer 30-35 hours of contact time per individual, with a programme that informs students about opportunities as well as developing their skills.
The news follows the announcement that 10 law firms had signed ip to the Government’s Business Compact on social mobility, which aims to open up recruitment to people from all social background (12 January 2012).