A legal careers advice service which will join universities and education providers with international, City and regional law firms via an online platform has launched.
Aspiring Solicitors, founded by Norton Rose Fulbright corporate associate Chris White, aims to join up undergraduate and postgraduate students in need of free academic and careers advice with law firms able to provide such advice.
The programme takes five “headlights” as its overarching aims: academics, pro bono, employability, equality, diversity and social responsibility and commercial awareness.
It will operate via an online mock interview booking system and face-to-face university workshops. Mock interviews will take place via Skype or FaceTime while firms will travel to university campuses to give talks to students interested in a legal career. The programme will also offer academic advice from lecturers, who will offer exam tips and model exam answers.
White hopes to eventually establish a scholarship fund to pay for an individual’s legal qualifications. Some 24 universities have already signed up to the scheme and a number of US, magic circle, City, regional and boutique firms have expressed interest in the scheme.
Aspiring Solicitors currently provide assistance to aspiring lawyers through its Facebook page and via telephone calls and face-to-face talks. Its website aspiringsolicitors.co.uk will soon launch, providing a dedicated platform for the programme.
White started his career as a trainee at Dechert in 2006. He has been at Norton Rose Fulbright since qualification.
He said: “As a first generation law student and having come from a “normal” family (my father was a bricklayer and my mother works in Marks and Spencers), I discovered how difficult it was for me to get experience in the legal profession, let alone access it.
“I had no family contacts or friends in law and had to find my way on my own steam. All I had control over was my academic grades and my own motivation and determination to succeed.”