Hundreds of would-be lawyers packed into The Law Society’s great hall on Saturday to graduate from the College of Law’s (CoL) Pathways to Law programme, designed to widen access to legal profession.
The students were the second cohort of Pathways participants to graduate since the £1.5m scheme was established in September 2007 by CoL and The Sutton Trust, a charity, which aims to promote social mobility through education.
“Those graduating have completed Pathways at the same time as meeting the heavy academic demands of their final school years, planning their futures and applying for university,” said CoL’s chair of the academic board Richard de Friend.
“As a result, they can now be very confident that they have the intellectual calibre, enterprise and resilience which they need to meet all the challenges they’ll face in higher education, the legal professions or in any other field in which they choose to make their careers,” he added.
Pathways is aimed at students from state schools who will be the first in their family to go on to higher education and who have expressed an interest in law.
The youngsters are selected by the seven partner universities (Bristol, Leeds, London School of Economics, Manchester, Southampton UCL and Warwick) after their GCSE year and participate in the programme for the duration of their A levels, during which time they will attend workshops, participate in work placements and get teamed up with mentors.
Since its inception nearly 800 students have been accepted onto the scheme.
Pathways is also supported by The Law Society and eight law firms comprising Allen & Overy; Clifford Chance; DLA Piper; Eversheds; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Linklaters; Lovells and Simmons & Simmons.