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Diversity Access Scheme 2020 open to trainee lawyers until 20 April

0903/2020

Applications for the Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) will be open until 20 April 2020.

The Law Society launched the legal profession’s 2020 scheme on February 17 and is inviting talented trainee lawyers to apply for a place.

The Law Society said that DAS aims to improve social mobility in the profession, by supporting those who face exceptional social, educational, financial or personal obstacles to qualify as a solicitor.

To date, the scheme has helped nearly 250 aspiring solicitors to kickstart their legal careers.

Law Society president Simon Davis said:

“For our profession to thrive, we need talented individuals from diverse backgrounds – I encourage any aspiring solicitor who is facing particular challenges on their way to qualification to consider applying for a place on the scheme.

“I am hugely proud of and admire DAS alumni’s achievements. Previous scholars have escaped oppressive regimes, overcome adversity – and achieved academic success while dealing with highly challenging disabilities.

“The Law Society looks forward to welcoming up to ten new trainees onto the Diversity Access Scheme – and helping them launch a highly rewarding career in the law.”

As well as financing their Legal Practice Course (LPC), the scheme offers successful applicants relevant high-quality work experience, a professional mentor and networking opportunities.

DAS awardee Ashley O’Brien is starting her LPC under the scheme and said:

“Family and financial circumstances made completion of the LPC and becoming a family solicitor a goal I may not have been able to practically achieve.

“The acknowledgement of experience, hard work and determination in light of challenging circumstances – which the Diversity Access Scheme values – has given me the confidence and opportunity to make my aspiration a reality.”

The Diversity Access Scheme is sponsored by Natwest Legal, BP, Withers LLP, Nottingham Law School, BPP Law School, The University of Law, and the University of Westminster.

To apply, candidates must have no more than £5,000 in savings and must also have been in receipt of free school meals, attended a non fee-paying school – and have been the first generation of their family to attend higher education.

Those not fulfilling the above criteria must have other exceptional circumstances that have made becoming a solicitor challenging, including issues related to gender and/or gender identity; ethnicity; sexual orientation;

disability and/or long-term health conditions; education; or other personal obstacles.

All enquiries about the scheme should be addressed to Leila Lesan at diversityaccessscheme@lawsociety.org.uk.

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