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In September 2011 23 major UK law firms including A&O, Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith, Linklaters, Norton Rose, and Slaughter and May signed up to a new work experience project designed to boost social mobility in the legal profession. PRIME, supported by The Sutton Trust, offers quality legal work experience to underprivileged state school children aged 14-18. Founder member firms include Addleshaw Goddard, DLA Piper, Eversheds and Pinsent Masons. Certain companies' in-house legal teams have partnered with the firms to provide additional work experience for PRIME students. The companies that are involved include Lloyds Banking Group, Google, Yahoo!, Virgin Money, the Financial Times, Vodafone, Microsoft and the Press Association.
The scheme aims to allow participants a comprehensive insight to the legal profession; understanding both the demands of the job and, more broadly, the office environments in which lawyers work. Important to note, perhaps, are the promises that the scheme makes to its participants; this includes financial support in attending work experience and pre-placement guidance. Applications cannot be made through the website; students should talk to their teachers and careers advisers, through whom PRIME can provide further information.