Law Society’s Diversity Access Scheme 2019 now recruiting
The Law Society’s Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) is now inviting applications for the 2019 intake.
The aim of the scheme is to help improve social mobility and diversity in the legal profession, by supporting people who face exceptional social, educational, financial or personal obstacles to qualifying as a solicitor.
So far, DAS has offered support to more than 200 aspiring solicitors and will welcome ten new trainees in 2019.
Law Society president Christina Blacklaws said:
“To thrive, our profession needs committed solicitors from diverse backgrounds.
"I am enormously proud of previous alumni – DAS scholars have resisted coercion into arranged marriage, escaped oppressive regimes and achieved academic success, while dealing with highly challenging disabilities.
“I encourage any aspiring solicitor who is facing particular challenges on their way to qualification to consider applying for a place on the Diversity Access Scheme.”
DAS offers financial assistance to undertake the Legal Practice Course and awardees enjoy relevant, high-quality work experience, as well as a professional mentor and networking opportunities.
DAS Awardee Peter De Biasio is currently undertaking his training contract with the Law Society under the scheme and said that DAS provided him not only with financial assistance, but also “the essential confidence and reassurance required to demonstrate to myself I may be able to achieve things I would never have imagined”.
“Growing up in a deprived area of South East London, hardly attending school, being dyslexic, occasionally finding myself in trouble with the authorities, becoming homeless – all this meant I thought being the first person in my family to attend any form of higher learning was the furthest I might get in my education,” he added.
Currently, he is working as a trainee solicitor in the Legal Services Department of the Law Society.
“I get to work on and be included in such matters as judicial reviews, Supreme Court interventions and representation in cases the Society has been asked to be involved with – along with handling the internal legal queries and issues of the Society itself. I couldn’t have hoped for a better start to my career.”
Recruitment to the Diversity Access Scheme is open from 4 February until 6 April 2019. All enquiries about the scheme should be addressed to Sarah Alonge:firstname.lastname@example.org.
DAS is sponsored by RBS, BP, Withers LLP, Eversheds Sutherland, Nottingham Law School, BPP Law School, The University of Law, and the University of Westminster.
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