BCLP moves to reduce financial obstacles for future trainees

updated on 02 August 2022

Reading time: two minutes 

International law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) has announced the introduction of three new social mobility benefits for trainee hires and vacation scheme students in response to the rising cost of living and inflation. The firm hopes that by removing the financial obstacles and ensuring a fair recruitment criterion, those wishing to pursue a career in law will feel encouraged to do so.

There will be three changes introduced from September 2022:

  1. The removal of academic weighting: as a gateway standard, academic performance has been removed from the screening and recruitment processes in the UK for trainee and related opportunities. In its place, there will be a series of online tests which include critical reasoning, verbal reasoning and strength-based assessment. Academic achievement details will still be requested and reviewed; however, candidates will not be rejected based solely on them not meeting the minimum academic criteria.
  2. Increase in future trainee maintenance grant: to align with the London living wage, the total maintenance grant in London for future trainees studying the Post Graduate Diploma in Law or Legal Practice Course will be increased to £20,400 (from £10,000) inclusive of a £3,400 loan. For those studying in the regions or virtually, the total maintenance is set to increase to £18,400 (from £8,000) inclusive of a £3,400 loan. The loan will be forgiven unless the trainee decides to leave BCLP voluntarily upon qualifying.
  3. Summer vacation scheme pay: in June 2022, the pay to students undergoing the summer vacation scheme increased to £750 per week (from £450 per week) to more closely align with trainee salaries.

Segun Osuntokun, the firm’s UK managing partner, said: “These additional financial benefits, together with the removal of academic weighting as a minimum standard for an application to progress, will hopefully encourage those who felt they faced an uphill battle to secure a training contract, or even consider a legal career, to feel that it’s now within reach.”