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Shoosmiths and Aston Uni join forces to support disadvantaged sixth formers into law

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West Midlands teens to benefit from sessions and events in new 18-month programme

Shoosmiths and Aston University have come together to launch a new programme that looks to prepare under-represented and disadvantaged sixth formers for studying law at university.

The Pathways to Law programme will see up to 30 year 12s from the West Midlands receive guidance and support from the firm’s lawyers and academics at the Birmingham-based university.

Shoosmiths is to host three core events over the 18-month programme, with Aston Uni to provide taster law sessions and offer information, guidance and advice about life as an LLBer. The scheme launches this September.

Victoria Potts, Shoosmiths associate and the lead on the creation and delivery of the programme, commented:

“I am looking forward to partnering with Aston University to work to open up the legal profession for students who would not normally see their career within it. We are keen to develop a pathway which widens the social profile of candidates in the legal profession and is representative of the community it serves.”

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Shoosmiths — recently ranked one of the top 75 UK employers for social mobility — recruits around 30 trainees each year.

A number of law firms have been upping their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion within the profession.

In autumn last year, Osborne Clarke launched a mentoring scheme that sees them provide CV and interview support to secondary schoolers, while Norton Rose Fulbright offered a bursary scheme to provide financial support to aspiring lawyers.

Earlier that year Gowling WLG pledged to help fund Black students through law school and Freshfields and Linklaters both launched mentoring schemes with social mobility aims.

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