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Linklaters and Oxford Uni join forces to mentor underprivileged sixth formers

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Aspiring lawyers will be tutored by Wadham College bigwigs and receive TC application support from magic circle firm

Linklaters has joined forces with the University of Oxford to mentor sixth form students from “less advantaged” backgrounds who aspire to study law and join the legal profession.

The two-year pre-university programme, a tie-up between the magic circle law firm and Wadham College, Oxford, will adopt a “life cycle” approach to address specific barriers at key stages from pre-application to post-graduation.

The students will receive tutoring and support with critical thinking from Wadham law tutors, as well as university application and careers advice, while law undergraduates will be provided with career guidance and “targeted support” for Linklaters’ trainee recruitment programmes. They’ll also be invited to a series of networking events involving Linklaters and Wadham alumni.

Fionnghuala Griggs, trainee recruitment partner at Linklaters, said:

“Improving the socio-economic diversity of the legal profession requires action at every stage of the career cycle, starting from school level. The programme will look to ensure that talented candidates can achieve their full potential and aren’t excluded before they even have a chance to embark on their legal career just because they may be from a less privileged background. An individual’s socio-economic circumstances should not be a barrier to a successful career in the law.”

Ken Macdonald QC, warden of Wadham College added: “The lack of socio-economic diversity in law at university and beyond is due to a range of factors affecting an individual’s path to university, success on course and career prospects after graduation. This pioneering programme is designed to address these factors, and we are grateful to Linklaters for their transformative support.”

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The social mobility programme is open to sixth formers from non-selective state schools in Wadham’s link regions of Bedford, Cambridgeshire, Central Bedfordshire, Luton and the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Havering, Islington, Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets. The cohort of selected pupils is intended to be “reflective of the ethnic diversity” of the regions listed above.

Eligibility criteria will focus on location, performance at GCSE, school type and widening participation criteria. All students selected for the programme will need to be eligible for free school meals.

The programme is an extension of Linklaters’ Making Links social mobility-focused recruitment work, which includes Making Links Discovery, a programme the firm recently launched designed to open up access to a career in law for 16 to 18 year old students across the UK.

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