Case study: Work experience

We are proud to be a founding member of PRIME, a profession-wide commitment to give fair access to quality work experience to young people from less privileged backgrounds.

We provide students with placements in legal and non-legal teams and aim to inspire them to think about a career in the legal profession, opening their eyes to the vast range of roles on offer.

In 2013, we developed a successful joint legal work experience initiative with ITV then helped grow the model into what is now known as the Social Mobility Business Partnership ('SMBP').

The award-winning programme consists of two weeks’ intensive skills training coupled with work insights: students first spend a week in a private practice law firm and then a further week visiting four different in-house teams, with a final day spent with a top sports team learning about resilience and the psychology of achieving goals. Post-programme, students are offered on going support through virtual coaching.

The SMBP programme’s objectives are to:

  • break down both social and psychological barriers to entering the legal profession for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • develop students’ presenting, interviewing, influencing, resilience and negotiation skills
  • arm students with ammunition for CVs and UCAS personal statements and anecdotes to populate answers to competency questions asked at university and job interviews
  • link students to a network of legal professionals who are happy to share their experiences and help students achieve their career aspirations

The scheme has rapidly grown year on year and in 2017 is being delivered in London, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham, Bristol, Brighton and Reading. In 2016, 210 students and over 50 organisations took part.

Find out more on SMBP's website:

“It’s a great talking point. In every application I write now, I refer to LSMP and my experience on the programme. I used what I learnt about IP on the programme to open my UCAS personal statement.””

Shama Aktar, student from the 2015 programme, City & Islington College

“All of us involved in the scheme feel strongly that entry to the legal profession should be meritocratic and without social barriers. Now in its third year, our scheme encourages students to build their confidence both through demystifying the world of business and by giving them a wealth of ammunition to populate their CVs and tackle interviews with self-assurance.”

Barry Matthews, Director of Legal Affairs & Third Party Sales, ITV