Magic circle giant Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has given its trainee solicitors a rare break from their round-the-clock photocopying duties to mooch around London for the afternoon pretending to be tramps, reports The Lawyer.
24 of the firm’s trainee solicitors, who earn £39,000 a year, teamed up with a Big Issue vendor each for around three hours in the ground-breaking initiative. Some managed to sell in excess of 30 magazines.
A feedback session was then held at Freshfield’s Fleet Street headquarters, where the trainees traded harrowing first-hand accounts of their experiences of homelessness. A video of the session was leaked to Legal Cheek.
Freshfield graduate recruitment partner Simon Johnson believes the mental scars suffered by the trainees were worth it, telling The Lawyer: “It’s a useful confidence-building exercise for the trainees and gives them an early insight into the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility.”
He added: “It challenges their perceptions about the people who sell it as they build a rapport with the vendor and gain an understanding about the Big Issue. Being put in someone else’s shoes really brings them out of their comfort zone.”
The Big Issue is also supported by Simmons & Simmons and HSBC.