Trainee solicitors at Cobbetts are working on a series of diversity initiatives to help students from non-traditional backgrounds break into the law.
Concrete plans will be formulated in the new year from the various ideas aimed to install an interest and motivation for the law, which emerged from focus groups.
Graduate recruitment manager Paul Kendall said: “The trainees are really enthusiastic that they can deliver something worthwhile, but are particularly interested in what they can do to raise awareness and motivate people to go into the law,”
“The aim is to speak to people at an earlier stage and show them what is available to them, and what they need to do to get there,” added Kendall. “The trainees’ commitment has been really pleasing; they want to get involved and run things and really want to make them [the projects] their own.”
A few examples of the suggested programmes include mentoring, expanding the Pathways to Law scheme, creating how-to guides and putting together newsletters containing information about life as a trainee.
Diversity awareness at Cobbetts has gathered momentum in the last year, with the firm holding an event in March in conjunction with the Law Society, after signing of the diversity charter, and the ‘Progression to the Profession’ event in October, where students were invited to learn more about different career paths.
The firm has also successfully set up a diversity working group to look at broader issues and push ideas throughout the firm. The group will combine representatives from all levels of the firm and will hold its first meeting in January.