Clifford Chance to fund community law graduate scheme likened to Teach First

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By Thomas Connelly on

Youth advocates will help protect the legal rights of vulnerable children

Magic circle law firm Clifford Chance has thrown its financial support behind a charity-backed graduate scheme that gives wannabe lawyers a taste of life at the frontline of the profession.

Set up by charity Just for Kids Law, ‘Advocacy Year’ sees graduates spend 12 months working as “community-based youth advocates”. Helping to protect the legal rights of vulnerable children and young people, wannabe lawyers will receive a month of “intensive training” before spending the rest of the year working within the charity’s outreach and in-house legal teams. The scheme has been likened to ‘Teach First’, and was originally titled ‘Advocacy First’.

Gaining hands-on experience, successful applicants will tackle thorny legal issues involving care, immigration, school exclusions and homelessness. They will also receive expert mentoring from some of Clifford Chance’s top lawyers.

Now, thanks to additional funding courtesy of the magic circle outfit, the charity has been able create an extra graduate advocate place, taking this year’s intake from three to four. Though Clifford Chance is the first law firm to fund a whole post, Simmons & Simmons has also financially supported the programme.

Commenting on the new financial commitment, Clifford Chance’s managing partner, Matthew Layton, said:

At Clifford Chance, we are committed to supporting the communities where we do business by widening access to justice, education and finance. We’re therefore delighted to be able to support Advocacy Year with expertise and experience from across our business, including graduate recruitment and communications, as well as provide the financial support that makes their work possible.

The deadline for applications is 2 May, with interviews scheduled for 15 May. You can apply here.

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