Firms hold key to Global Graduates future

By Jon Parker


THE FUTURE of Global Graduates is in doubt, with a number of its sponsors indicating that they are exploring options to work with alternative diversity organisations.

Global Graduates, which was launched by diversity crusader Yolande Beckles to mentor aspiring lawyers from nontraditional backgrounds, has been battling for survival after tabloid revelations regarding Beckles finances. The controversy followed Beckles role in BBC2s show Dont Mess with Miss Beckles.

DLA Piper and the College of Law have followed Slaughter and Mays lead in becoming the latest organisations to decide against renewing their sponsorship deal with Global Graduates. Other firms that sponsor Global Graduates include Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Beckles said that she was not concerned by the non-renewal of the contracts and is believed to be considering other options. She insisted that law firms were never really the focus.

I wanted to prove to the legal sector that there were people like me out there: bright, motivated and with brains and charisma, she said. Now its up to firms to prove that they are committed to diversity.

One graduate recruitment head said: We had concerns and had to look at which organisation it would be best to work with. We werent being consulted and we felt in the
wilderness.