Widening access to the profession

Being from a lower socio-economic background is the biggest barrier to entering the legal profession. To widen access to the sector, we have invested in a number of initiatives that upskill, inspire and equip young people who are considering or looking to pursue a career in law or the legal sector. Through these programmes we are seeing a greater diversity of young people join the sector and our firm.

One such initiative is our Law Springboard Programme which, for five years, we have delivered in partnership with social mobility charity upReach to support more than 450 undergraduate students from UK universities.

The programme's primary goal is to improve access to the legal sector for highly talented undergraduates from lower socio-economic backgrounds, through one-to-one personalised support, with a specific emphasis on helping participants obtain work experience. Each year, we offer 80 places on the programme, and a week of paid work experience for 25 students as well as additional support including insight days, CV, application and interview assistance, and skills workshops conducted in collaboration with upReach. Of the students supported during 2022 and 2023 46% secured legal work experience, providing a talent pipeline for the sector as a whole. 

Slaughter and May Scholarship Scheme

To address the financial challenges associated with university education, we introduced the Slaughter and May Scholarship Scheme in 2021. This scholarship scheme, an extension of our existing Law Springboard Programme with upReach, provides ten exceptional undergraduate students on the programme with bursaries and leadership development opportunities for three years of their university studies.

For further information, please contact the inclusion team.