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Akin Gump drops A-Level requirement in diversity push

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The London office of US firm Akin Gump has removed minimum A-Level requirements for its training contract.

The move, which was made last month in preparation for the opening of the new application window in early October, is part of the firm’s diversity and inclusion commitment, and is intended to support “access to law for all”.

Akin Gump, which takes on about six trainees each year, had required a minimum of AAB at A-Level or a score of 36 on the International Baccalaureate. The requirement has been removed from the firm’s UK careers website, a spokesperson said, as well as from its entries in the latest graduate recruitment publication profiles.

Vance Chapman, Akin Gump partner and London training principal, said: “We are keen to ensure we continue to attract and recruit exceptional legal talent, no matter their background, and to make sure A-Level grades in and of themselves are not a barrier to applying to the firm.”

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Chapman continued:

“Within any application, candidates will continue to provide details of their A-Levels, or equivalent, as well as university results, but we take a more holistic view on academic progression when considering applications.”

Legal Cheek reported last month that City outfits DWF and Ashurst similarly scrapped specific A-Level requirements amid the summer exam results fiasco that meant almost 40% of grades were downgraded due to a “mutant algorithm”. The government has since backtracked and awarded sixth-form students teachers’ predicted grades.

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