Law firm to support seven students through new scholarship programme
Squire Patton Boggs is looking to help students from less advantaged backgrounds build careers in law through a newly-created scholarship programme.
The programme ‘Access to Law Scholarship’ will see the firm cover the uni fees of seven students as part of a new tie-up with the Social Mobility Business Partnership (SMBP), a charity which supports students from low-income backgrounds in their pursuit of law and finance careers through work insight and skills programmes.
The scholarship will provide three years of financial support to candidates that have successfully completed one of SMBP’s programmes. In addition to covering tuition fees, the firm will also provide an annual grant of £2,500 towards living expenses.
Successful candidates will also have the opportunity to complete a week’s work experience at one of the firm’s UK offices, receive mentoring, and have the opportunity to join its summer vacation scheme to attempt to secure a training contract.
Squire Patton Boggs partner and leader of its social mobility resource group, Rob Elvin, commented:
“Ability is not the preserve of the privileged. The cost-of-living crisis has made it even harder for young people from diverse and less advantaged backgrounds to be able to go to university, gain further qualifications and achieve the careers they deserve.
“We’ve met so many talented people through our work with the SMBP and, with their help, we have been able to launch this programme to provide focused support to seven students with great potential who we look forward to supporting on their journey through university and in their future career.”
It’s not the only firm to offer this sort of financial support. Gowling WLG, for example, teamed up with Birmingham University to help fund black students through university. More recently, US outfit Sidley Austin launched a bursary scheme aimed at aspiring UK lawyers from low socio-economic backgrounds.
Squires ranked ninth in the 2022 Social Mobility Employer Index, securing its position through initiatives like the expansion of its apprenticeship scheme to include legal and non-legal apprenticeships and appointing lawyers as local champions to collaborate with schools and universities.
Last year Legal Cheek reported that the firm had committed to giving 75% of its UK internship and work experience opportunities to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This, however, does not extend to vacation scheme places, the firm said at the time.