Magic circle trainee’s mentoring programme secures first law school sign-up

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By Legal Cheek on

GROW mentoring partners with Coventry Uni to pair students with lawyers

Justin Farrance

A mentoring programme founded by an Instagram savvy trainee solicitor at Allen & Overy has secured its first partnership with a law school.

GROW mentoring matches law students and early career professionals with experienced mentors from the legal profession who share similar backgrounds and experiences.

Under the new deal, Coventry University Law School students will have the opportunity to be paired with a mentor who will be on hand to offer advice and careers insights, as well as provide hints and tips with applications or interviews.

The scheme is the brainchild of Justin Farrance, a magic circle rookie who regularly shares updates with his 6,000+ followers on Instagram. The University of Warwick grad hopes the programme will enhance social mobility and diversity in the legal profession.

Farrance, who runs the programme alongside fellow A&O trainee Natasha Dutton, commented:

“I am delighted to launch our first ever partnership with a university. Having virtually spoken to members of Coventry Law School, I was inspired by their efforts to support their law students and was very happy to launch GROW Coventry University. Mentorship is more important than ever in supporting diverse talent and I can’t wait to hear the progress students make with their career journey.”

GROW says its mentors come from more than 50 law firms, tech giants, large in-house legal teams and chambers, all varying in size, specialism and location. It has connected over 1,200 mentees to their own individual mentor since its launch at the beginning of the pandemic.

Sharan Dhadda, associate lecturer and Coventry Law School’s liaison with GROW, added:

“This initiative is a means to connect aspiring lawyers with legal professionals. It allows students to gain an insight into what working life is truly like and provides them with a direct line with people who have taken a similar path. The driving force behind this programme is to enhance social mobility, diversity and inclusivity in the legal industry. The legal profession can seem somewhat daunting, however GROW helps to minimise that by connecting the two worlds.”

News of the partnership comes just weeks after a 15-strong group of City law firms pledged to provide mentoring and career coaching to aspiring lawyers from disadvantaged backgrounds, through a series of tie-ups with universities including Bradford, Staffordshire, Lincoln, York St John and Liverpool John Moores.

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