Diversity scheme welcomes new cohort

More than 50 Black and Minority Ethnic students took their first steps onto the legal career ladder last week by attending the induction ceremony of the Legal Launch Pad (LLP) hosted at Allen & Overy’s London Office.

The initiative is targeted at university students aged 18 years and over who want to break into the legal profession but due to family backgrounds or previous poor careers advice are less informed about the different routes into law.

Stephanie King, a Legal Practice Course student, formerly on the LLP programme said: “LLP definitely installs a confidence in you. It is about confidence and understanding who you are and where you come from, and not seeing it as a deterrence. I was taught to use my background as an advantage.”

The induction day gave students an insight into the content of the programme, which will include developmental training; offer practical experience of working in a legal environment, as well as access to a mentoring relationship.

Also, each of the 54 students will be offered at least one vacation scheme at one of the participating organisations

The LLP scheme is the brainchild of the Black Lawyers Directory’s (BLD) founder and managing director Debo Nwauzu who said: “The calibre of the 2011 LLP intake is the best yet with our judges being very impressed by their enthusiasm, commitment and legal career aspirations,”

Through the programme more than 60 per cent of last year’s cohort have succeeded in securing jobs with the sponsor firms.

Other organisations taking part in the programme include Beachcroft, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Clifford Chance, DLA Piper, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Olswang, Shoosmiths, White & Case and No5 Chambers.