Through our social mobility programmes, we aim to lay the foundations of good literacy and improve the prospects of young people from low socio-economic backgrounds.

We invest in initiatives that up-skill, inspire and equip young people for the world of work as they progress through school and go on to university.

 

Work Experience

 

Our Excellerators Programme is for Year 12 students from Islington schools.  We provide students with week-long placements across legal and business services teams to inspire them to think about a career in the profession.  They then go on to the Insight Week provided by the Social Mobility Business Partnership, a social mobility scheme we set up with ITV.

We also partner with my AFK, a charity that works with young people with disabilities, to provide supported work placements to help young people to become job ready as they transition into life after school.  Not only has the project seen positive outcomes for the young people we work with in terms of gaining work-related skills (100%), increasing their confidence (86%) and learning to travel independently (71%), but it has also given us a platform to build awareness and understanding of disabilities amongst our employees.

PRIME Commitment

 

We are proud to be a founding member and are represented on the working committee of PRIME, a sector-wide initiative to provide fair access to quality work experience.

 

Schools programme

 

Building on our strong connections with local schools in Islington, we have a number of ways we try to make a difference to the future prospects of the young people we support.

  • Tutoring: working in partnership with educational charity The Access Project, we launched the Key Project at Central Foundation Boys’ School in 2012 to help its students achieve places at top universities. Since its launch, five times more students are now going to the most selective universities.
  • Mentoring: our volunteers help students make decisions about university progression and write their personal statements for their university applications. The number of students at our partner school who progress to selective universities has risen from 13% in 2012 to 47% in 2017.
  • Careers and employability workshops: volunteers share their advice and career experience to provide students with an opportunity to learn about the diverse range of roles available in the City.

Literacy

 

Words are the tools of a law firm’s trade and we understand how crucial literacy is to social mobility and even life expectancy. As well as the reading schemes we support in our local primary schools, we work with the National Literacy Trust, a charity that helps disadvantaged children and young people gain the literacy skills they need to succeed. NLT’s research has found that children born into communities with the most serious literacy challenges have some of the lowest life expectancies in England.

We are a member of the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge, which sets out our commitment to help tackle the UK’s unacceptably low levels of literacy.  We fund the National Literacy Trust’s annual literacy survey of 49,000 children and young people aged 8 to 18, the only one of its kind.  It forms the backbone of the charity’s strategy and campaigns, as well as being used by participating schools to inform their literacy strategies.