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City law firms and chambers come together for #10000BlackInterns initiative

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National campaign gets underway next year with aim to provide paid internships for black graduates

Nearly 30 legal organisations have come together to back the national #10000BlackInterns initiative. The Law Society of England and Wales joined this week and is encouraging wider participation across the profession.

The campaign gets underway in the summer of next year and aims to run for the next five years — providing 10,000 paid internships to black graduates in the UK. It was founded last summer to help broaden career opportunities for young black people and address the under-representation of black talent in industries including the law.

Already 22 law firms and five chambers have confirmed their participation in the scheme. This includes the magic circle firm Linklaters, which signed up in the autumn, as well as big-name City law firms Osborne Clarke, Taylor Wessing and Travers Smith. On the other side of the profession, 4 Paper Buildings became the first family set to get onboard last week, and joins the Bar Council and other chambers including Keating, Littleton, Matrix and QEB Hollis Whiteman.

Law Society president David Greene said: “The law can offer a rewarding and fulfilling career. We hope interning at The Law Society — or law firms signed up to the initiative — will open doors for aspiring young black talent and inspire participants to pursue a legal career.”

Greene added:

“We are proud to participate in the #10000BlackInterns initiative and encourage law firms and legal businesses to take part and invest in the next generation of young black talent.”

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Recent Law Society research laid bare the experiences of black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) solicitors in the law, and put forward a series of recommendations to build a more diverse and inclusive profession.

Last month the Society announced it is to investigate its historical links with slavery and colonialism. The findings will be released in the autumn.

Other industries taking part in #10000BlackInterns include education, healthcare, insurance, technology, banking and finance, and the Big Four accountancy firms.

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