Norton Rose is targeting talented Year 12 students from a Hackney-based school in a new social mobility initiative to widen access to the profession.
The selected students from Mossbourne Academy have the opportunity to take part in a host of activities as part of a two day programme, with the second day due to take place in June.
Norton Rose Partner Wasim Khan said: “My initial reaction to doing the programme was that it was a no brainer because of the students’ energy and enthusiasm [following initial visits]. It showed that we do need to widen the social mobility path with a view to securing the best talent. This was not just about benefiting us, but who we work with, our clients, and, it’s just something we really ought to do.”
“The students really seized the opportunity, I was very impressed. It was something that’s been in the pipeline for four years and I think it is something we definitely would like to replicate to help raise awareness within the firm,” he added.
Part one of the programme, held this month (March) offered the six students an opportunity to take part in work shadowing, training sessions and a chance to work with a dedicated mentor.
The second day will allow the aspiring lawyers to polish their writing and presenting skills, and will throw them into a presentation as well as helping them complete their UCAS applications.
Khan added that Norton Rose endeavours this to be a long-term relationship with the Academy and the students themselves, by doing an alumni programme as well as keeping contact over their academic careers.
“I see this initiative as complementary to the offering that we are giving at the moment but as I said it is a pilot scheme. But I hope to see some, if not all the students apply for training contracts.”
The relationship with the Academy grew through Norton Rose initially holding a few presentations to the Sixth Formers to generate interest.
The students then had to submit a short, written application stating why they wished to take part in the programme.
The news follows the top ten firm joining forces with a not-for-profit organisation, Sponsors for Education Opportunity (SEO) to offer places for its summer intern scheme to students from under-represented ethnic minority backgrounds (read more).