Squires to give 75% of internships and work experience places to disadvantaged students as part of new ESG strategy

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Doesn’t include vac schemes

Squire Patton Boggs (SPB) has unveiled a new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy, which includes a commitment to give 75% of its UK internship and work experience opportunities to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The international firm says it will continue to use Rare’s contextual recruitment system and work with social mobility organisations including the Sutton Trust, in order to prioritise the right candidates and track progress on the new commitment.

The 75% goal does not extend to vacation scheme places, SPB confirmed to Legal Cheek.

Further commitments under the ESG strategy include a 50% incremental increase in pro bono work year on year, a 70% reduction in emission by 2030 with a view to achieving net zero status by 2035, as well as a renewed pledge to hit a series of diversity targets the firm set out in April 2021. This includes the aim of having 25% females partners in the UK by 2026, and 16% ethnic minority representation across the firm by 2026.

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Commenting on the new strategy, the firm’s ESG manager, Dr Thomas Hancocks, said: “This strategy represents our commitment to embed ESG by driving measurable change within our firm, and also to benefit the communities and clients we serve.”

“The strategy aligns with our DEI, charitable and social mobility initiatives. It also builds upon our work with specialist organisations, such as the Legal Sustainability Alliance, Science-Based Targets initiative and Social Mobility Foundation amongst others, helping us set priorities, develop our goals and, importantly, to record and report our progress.”

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Beautiful idea, love it



“Contextual recruitment” is where postcodes are more important than academic performance. People are buying BTL flats in dodgy areas now to protect themselves from this advancing horror but it only works if the primary family residences are already in a decent trust wrapper as otherwise the tax impact is burdensome.


Former Grad Rec

Your understanding of this is completely incorrect. It doesn’t just measure ‘postcodes’ – someone moving to a ‘dodgy area’ does not help get them into these schemes.

Contextual recruitment does however analyse how well someone performed against their peers at school (for example, a B at Eton when most receives A’s is not impressive – someone achieving a B at a school where majority receive D grades, IS impressive and highlights potential). They also factor in whether they come from a care home, abusive homes, act as a carer for family members, if they have a disability etc.

If you can’t see the merit in this, I spot someone with privilege who is upset they can’t coast anymore.



My primary reference to behaviour was to university admissions which are now a joke.

But as for your response, no B is “impressive”. If you are surrounded by thick or lazy kids it does not make your B special or better. What you describe is patronising bollocks.


Former Grad Rec

Gosh – you are so bitter that you’re not walking into these university places and schemes any more, aren’t you?

The B was just an example, but in any case you’re wrong on this. A grade ‘B’ from someone in a care home attending a Grade 4 Ofsted school where the teachers struggle to control the class is impressive. It wouldn’t be impressive from a top school, no.

The magic circle always take those with strong grades, but they’ve started to recognise that an A from Eton is NOT the same as an B from an underperforming school in a ‘dodgy area’ (your words) – the latter is far more impressive and shows far more potential. Not my opinion, we are seeing it as fact now with cohorts coming through. Those with genuine grit and determination who have suffered hardship and still performed well tend to make better lawyers than the spoon fed posh boys who used to get in because their dad was a Partner, sorry.



Speaking of bitter…

“Those with genuine grit and determination who have suffered hardship and still performed well tend to make better lawyers than the spoon fed posh boys who used to get in because their dad was a Partner”

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