Diversity initiatives offer hope for aspiring lawyers

Fifty would-be lawyers celebrated last week after graduating from the Legal Launch Pad (LLP) programme aimed at helping Black and Minority Ethnic students break into the profession.

The students, who had been handpicked from hundreds of applicants to join the course back in January, attended the LLP programme’s graduation ceremony last Thursday (10 September).

And despite some sceptics claiming that students who take part in programmes such as this do not stand a chance of being accepted for a training contract at least five LLP participants have managed to secure jobs with the sponsor firms.

Beachcroft, Clifford Chance, Denton Wilde Sapte, Freshfields Brauckhaus Deringer and Pinsent Masons offered LLP students training contracts but LLP founder Debo Nwauz said she is expecting that list to grow further.

“The students have taken so much from this and are now confident and more focused as a result. It’s fantastic to have helped some students gain training contract offers and we hope that figure will continue to grow as more candidates get feedback from interviews,” she said.

Meanwhile, Addleshaw Goddard’s Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) has also proved its critics wrong.

The DAS offers graduates who do not meet the firm’s usual A-level criteria, but who have gone on to demonstrate their academic ability at university, a chance to secure work placements with the firm through a separate competency-based application form.

Since its introduction in 2007 Addleshaws has offered training contracts to eight participants including three this month.