Linklaters pilot scheme offers support to low-income students
International law firm Linklaters has now closed the application process for a pilot scheme to support students from low-income backgrounds, as part of Linklaters’ broader social mobility initiative, Making Links.
The scheme will begin in the summer and the Making Links programme will offer up to nine university students one-to-one mentoring, plus one week of work experience in commercial law and £6,000 towards their fees and living costs.
If the pilot is successful, in the future applicants to the Making Links Scholars scheme must be in the first year of a three-year course, or the second year of a four-year course, as well as being from what Linklaters refers to as “a socially or economically less advantaged background”.
The scheme is part of Linklaters’ ongoing initiatives to expand access to the legal profession with the aim of making its workforce more diverse to reflect the diversity of the firm’s clients.
Linklaters’ graduate recruitment partner, Alison Wilson, said:
“We need to do our bit to level the playing field so that we can make a proper assessment of talent, potential and levels of application and determination.
“The Making Links Scholars offers the kind of access and support that many entering our industry may have had naturally through family or other support networks.”
In 2018, Linklaters was one of 14 firms in a list of top 50 employers who had taken the most action to progress talent from all backgrounds. The ranking, in its second year, is jointly run by the Social Mobility Foundation – a charity founded in 2005 – as well as the government-sponsored Social Mobility Commission and the City of London Corporation.
Linklaters’ diversity mission statement says that the firm’s diversity “enables us to attract the best talent, drive innovation, and deliver the best experience to everyone who comes into contact with us”.
“We know that our differences make us a better law firm…That’s why being a leader in Diversity & Inclusion is an integral part of our firm’s vision and strategy.
“As a responsible business, it is important to us that we represent the diversity of our people, our clients and our communities – and that we create an inclusive culture in which everyone, regardless of background, identity and circumstance, can reach their full potential.”
Linklaters says that, to help it focus and measure its efforts in D&I (diversity and inclusion), it has prioritised five strands of diversity globally – and is “committed to creating an environment in which women are able to progress, and where all genders feel supported in balancing their responsibilities inside and outside of the workplace”.
The scheme’s Twitter page (@LinklatersGrads) offers updates on the progress of Scholars on the scheme, as well as updates on training contracts, vacation schemes and insight programmes run by Linklaters.
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