updated on 20 April 2021
Magic circle law firm Linklaters has launched a bespoke A-level tutoring programme – Making Links Discovery – with two pillars, one aimed at advancing social mobility and the other on improving racial and ethnic diversity within the profession.
The firm partnered with the Social Mobility Foundation and The Amos Bursary to develop the 18-month programme, which has been designed to improve access to the profession for 16 to 18-year-old students across the UK. The Social Mobility Foundation will be identifying candidates from social mobility “cold spots”, while The Amos Bursary will nominate candidates who identify as having Black, Pakistani or Bangladeshi heritage.
The first phase of the programme will provide 30 year 12 (or equivalent) students who have an interest in law and are from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds or racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, with access to support, including mentoring, tutoring, work shadowing, university application advice and skills sessions, and CV and interview support.
The students can then apply to take part in the second phase of the programme in year 13 (or equivalent). The second phase involves individual tutoring and the chance to be fast tracked onto the firm’s £6,000 Making Links Scholarship programme; successful candidates on the scholarship programme will receive, among other things, one-to-one coaching, group sessions on commercial awareness, a guaranteed week of work experience, and a chance to interview for the firm’s 2021/22 vacation scheme spots.
Fionnghuala Griggs, trainee recruitment partner at Linklaters said: “Early opportunities play a crucial role in opening up access to and achieving true diversity in the legal sector. Making Links Discovery will enable us to develop a distinct pipeline of, and strong engagement with, students from across the UK who want to pursue a career in the law but might not otherwise have had the opportunity or resources to do so.”
Meanwhile, CEO of the Social Mobility Foundation Sarah Atkinson said: “The pandemic is set to have a disproportionate impact on the futures of young people from low-income backgrounds, so the pillars of this programme – mentoring, work experience and skills development – are particularly crucial. We appreciate Linklaters’ ongoing commitment to social mobility.” And Colleen Amos OBE, co-founder and CEO of The Amos Bursary commented on the organisation’s relationship with the magic circle firm: “It is fantastic to be partnering with Linklaters on such a substantial programme looking to bring about change and increase representation of underrepresented minority ethnic lawyers across the legal sector, as we continue to build on our strong relationship.”