Osborne Clarke looks to recruit more ethnic minority trainees

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By Rhys Duncan on


Launches new scholarship and mentoring scheme

Osborne Clarke has launched a new scheme, and bolstered its existing offering, in order to recruit more ethnic minority trainees.

The firm’s new pilot scheme, Osborne Clarke Scholars, provides university students from racial and ethnic minority communities financial support, paid work experience, a place on OC’s vacation scheme, and mentoring with a rookie and experienced mentor throughout their undergrad degree.

This offering is in addition to the firm’s existing OC REACH Talent Programme, which this year saw eight university students from an ethnic minority background undertake a week’s work experience, with mentors provided for the year following the programme.

Diversity data from the Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows that 10% of the firm’s associates and just 3% of the firm’s partners are from BME backgrounds. OC offers 35 training contracts a year across its London, Reading and Bristol offices, with the majority in the Capital. Newly qualified solicitors at the firm earn £91,500.

Bola Gibson, Osborne Clarke’s Head of Responsible Business, commented that: “Underrepresentation persists in the legal sector and the pipeline of talent into partnership can be difficult to tackle. By actively investing in early-stage talent programmes, it helps us to diversify our talent pipeline and we’re already beginning to see positive outcomes.”

“As we approach the end of the year, it’s wonderful to celebrate the progress we’re making in creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace, where black and ethnic minority colleagues can thrive. We continue to grow representation and improve engagement, and we are only just getting started.”

OC also participates in the 10,000 Black Interns programme, taking on 12 interns for a six-week stint in legal and business services teams. Three training contract offers, and one fixed term contract, were given to 2023 interns.