Eversheds rolls out school leaver academy

Eversheds is launching a new academy to guide students from A-levels through to graduation.

Nicky Bizzell

Nicky Bizzell

The Unlocked Academy has been developed in partnership with the firm’s Unlocked Programme, which is a three-day scheme aimed at helping talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds pursue a career in law.

The best and the brightest from the programme will then be selected to move into the academy, where each week they will be exposed to a mixture of face-to-face and webinar sessions and personal mentoring by a fee earner to tackle both personal and professional issues.

Head of resourcing Nicky Bizzell said: “Our scheme is more of a development programme, rather than work experience. Students will get to meet clients, partners and trainees – developing contacts and learning about a career in law.”

“At the point they finish the programme, we’re not guaranteeing a training contract but if they followed the programme there is no reason why they shouldn’t get one.”

The Unlocked programme and academy embodies Eversheds commitment to Prime, the first-ever profession-wide social mobility scheme.

The top 20 firm is hoping to take 30 students forward to the Unlocked Academy to fulfil Prime’s criteria, which is to offer work experience places to no less than 50 per cent of the number of training contracts they offer annually.

The news follows Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer pledging to offer two aspiring lawyers a year scholarships, work experience and guaranteed training contract interviews (20 February 2012).

The magic circle firm joined forces with University College London (UCL) to provide two £10,000-per-year bursaries for UCL law students from socially and economically less privileged backgrounds.