Two City firms back latest bid to ease law firm recruitment path for socially underprivileged

Avatar photo

By Jonathan Ames on

Herbert Smith Freehills and Travers Smith join three magic circle players in mentoring and advice scheme


Square Mile law firms Herbert Smith Freehills and Travers Smith are the latest to sign up to a programme aimed at boosting the marketability of socially underprivileged law students.

The two firms have joined the magic circle trio of Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy and Slaughter and May on the Discuss programme, a scheme launched two years ago by recruitment consultancy Rare.

The Discuss scheme aims to improve participants’ technical knowledge and understanding of commercial law through targeted support from senior Rare staff and two former leading City lawyers.

The programme includes group sessions at each of the now five participating City firms, where partners, associates, trainees and graduate recruitment teams brief students on corporate law issues. They also explain the firms’ specific application processes.

HSF’s graduate recruitment partner Veronica Roberts described the Discuss programme as one that:

Truly levels the playing field for candidates who may lack access to the information, networks and insights that might have been afforded to others.

While Travers Smith partner Caroline Edwards said her firm was:

Looking to recruiting candidates who are brilliant, motivated and committed to a career in law. These qualities are not defined by socioeconomic background. We believe that Discuss is the perfect platform for identifying excellent candidates who will thrive at Travers Smith whatever their circumstances

Today’s announcement from the two firms follows on the heels of Herbies signing up to Rare’s “contextual recruitment” tool.

At the beginning of last month, HSF and Ashurst joined the London office of Baker & McKenzie and Hogan Lovells on a programme that is designed to weed out social prejudices in the trainee recruitment process.