Slaughter and May and upReach launch legal sector access programme

Slaughter and May, the international law firm, announces today that it has entered into an exclusive partnership with social mobility charity, upReach, to launch the Law Springboard, a programme designed to improve access to the legal sector for high potential undergraduates from less-advantaged backgrounds. upReach is a charitable organisation that helps students across the UK to realise their potential.

The Law Springboard is a newly designed programme that provides students with relevant information and experience of corporate law and the legal sector, to enable them to succeed in securing work experience, training contracts or other career opportunities. Sponsored by Slaughter and May, the programme will support 90 undergraduates from less-advantaged backgrounds through personalised one-to-one support, skills workshops, application and interview preparation. Slaughter and May will also provide students with insight days, mentoring by lawyers and work experience opportunities.

Ranked as a top employer in the Social Mobility Foundation’s annual Employer Index, this partnership builds on Slaughter and May’s existing social mobility programme. Highlights include:

  • Being a founding member of The Social Mobility Business Partnership, formerly the Legal Social Mobility Partnership - a charity dedicated to supporting students from low income backgrounds.
  • A partnership with Central Foundation Boys' School and education charity The Access Project to support motivated students from less-privileged backgrounds win places at top universities.
  • An exclusive training programme, sponsored by five City law firms, for university students from less-advantaged backgrounds who are interested in pursuing a career in law.
  • Being one of the first firms in the City to implement a contextual recruitment system to identify candidates with the greatest potential.

Steve Cooke, Senior Partner at Slaughter and May, said: “We decided to partner with upReach because we wanted to give students from less-advantaged backgrounds insight into both our firm and the wider sector so that they can think seriously about a legal career. It also reinforces our commitment to social mobility and supports our work with schools and our inclusive approach to recruitment.”

John Craven, Chief Executive at upReach, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Slaughter and May to help improve access to the legal professions. Our partnership on the new Law Springboard will allow us to work together to ensure that talented candidates from all backgrounds are able to succeed in the sector, and we are very excited to be launching the programme.”

About upReach

upReach was founded in 2012 on a simple premise of fairness - equal access to top jobs regardless of social background. upReach is addressing this social mobility challenge. It helps young people achieve their career potential by providing an intensive, personalised programme of support that addresses socio-economic barriers to graduate employment. Its comprehensive programmes are delivered in person and online, with upReach ‘Associates’ (undergraduates participating in our programmes) gaining access to activities including skills workshops, mentoring, insight events, application support and professional work experience.

It partners closely with universities, supporting the progression of their widening participation students into graduate employment by broadening horizons, raising aspirations and creating an action plan to achieve career goals. Its partner employers provide opportunities for our Associates to build career knowledge, understand pathways and gain valuable experience, helping to level the playing field.