The Legal Services Board (LSB), the Bar Council and the Law Society have welcomed a new internship code developed in a bid to stamp out bias.
The three legal associations have endorsed the Common Best Practice Code for High-quality Internships, developed by the Gateways to the Professions Collaborative Forum, of which all three regulators are members.
LSB chief executive Chris Kenny said: “It’s crucial that access to these opportunities is not based on personal connections but on a transparent and fair recruitment process.
“We encourage approved regulators and professional bodies to adopt the code and promote it among their regulated communities.”
The code considers all stages of providing internships, including the recruitment process, remuneration and principles of best practice. The latter highlights the core elements necessary to allow both the employer and intern to benefit from the experience.
According to the code: “The intern should be given as much responsibility and diversity in their work as possible.
“Interns should be treated with exactly the same degree of professionalism and duty of care as regular employees.”
The code also confirms that compulsory placements, shadowing or work done by students to finance their studies do not class as internships.