‘Beating the poshness test’: firms to mentor disadvantaged undergrads in social mobility push

Linklaters and Herbert Smith Freehills are among 18 firms that have signed up to mentor disadvantaged undergraduates as part of a new social mobility scheme.

The City Solicitors Horizons scheme has been initiated by the City of London Solicitors’ Company, the City Solicitors’ Educational Trust and The Legal Education Foundation (TLEF), along with diversity charity Sponsors for Educational Opportunity.

The pilot scheme launches in January and will be open to 50 first-year undergraduates at universities in London and the South of England who do not come from a privileged background.

They will be eligible to apply if they are from the first generation of their family to go to university, were educated at a non-selective state school or come from a socially disadvantaged background. Their academic potential and committment to a legal career will also be take into account.

Successful applicants will be helped throughout the three years of their degree, receiving classroon and one-to-one training sessions, mentoring from lawyers as well as work experience at participating firms.

The firms that have pledged to take and mentor students are Addleshaw GoddardBaker & McKenzieCMS Cameron McKennaCleary Gottlieb Steen & HamiltonEvershedsHerbert Smith FreehillsHolman Fenwick WillanLinklatersMacfarlanesMayer BrownPinsent MasonsReed SmithSkaddenStephenson Harwood, Stewarts Law, Sullivan & Cromwell, Travers Smith and White & Case. They have also helped to fund the programme.