Skills sessions, networking, mentorship and more
Global law firm Baker McKenzie is upping its efforts to widen access to the legal profession through a new programme for A Level students.
The 18-month scheme, dubbed ‘Beginnings at Baker McKenzie’, aims to increase access to the legal profession for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds through training and support.
The annual programme will see 20 year 12 students attend regular skills sessions, networking events and a summer work experience placement at the firm. Each participant will also be assigned mentor to support them throughout the scheme.
As they progress into year 13, students will also receive UCAS support, negotiation and presentation skills training and be offered opportunities to attend events before starting uni.
Bakers says those students who “demonstrate a strong commitment and deep interest in law” can then apply for a further programme, which offers additional support, including financial help, during their first year of university.
Bakers’ London graduate recruitment partner, Priyanka Usmani, said:
“As a firm, we are committed to supporting and enhancing client outcomes by recruiting the best talent, irrespective of socio-economic background. We have already put in place a number of successful initiatives to help us achieve this and the launch of the Beginnings at Baker McKenzie Programme, which focuses on early engagement, will help to further level the playing field and create equality of opportunity for individuals from a non-traditional background entering the legal profession.”
A number of firms have launched similar schemes of support in a bid to broaden access to the legal profession.
Addleshaw Goddard recently created a year-long programme to help college students from lower socio-economic backgrounds gain insights into careers in law. This followed similar schemes from the likes of Osborne Clarke, Ropes & Gray, Freshfields and Linklaters.
Last month Legal Cheek reported that the legal profession had dominated the latest social mobility rankings, with over half of 80 or so successful entries coming from law firms.
The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2024 shows Bakers recruits around 40 trainees each year on a starting salary of £50,000. You can meet members of the firm at our Virtual Law Fair on 21 November (2-5pm). Sign up now.