QMUL joins successful programme to widen access to legal profession
Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has joined the Sutton Trust’s Pathways to Law programme, a pioneering initiative designed to inspire and support aspiring students from non-privileged backgrounds to consider and pursue a career in law.
The Pathways to Law programme, which is funded by the Sutton Trust, the Legal Education Foundation and 10 leading law firms, has announced a £1m funding boost today, which will enable it for the first time this year to provide support for GCSE students in years 10 and 11, as well as throughout sixth form
The announcement comes after research by the Sutton Trust found that three-quarters of top judges and 71% of top QCs were privately educated – proportions that have decreased only slightly since the 1980s. At the same time, YouGov polling of the legal industry commissioned by the Trust and PRIME revealed the benefits of addressing the problem are widely accepted. A majority (52%) of senior figures in the legal industry said that improving social mobility in the legal profession would be beneficial to their firm.
Targeted at academically able pupils from non-privileged homes, Pathways to Law will be delivered by 12 partner universities across the country, including QMUL which joined this year.
The 1,800 students will receive a four year programme of support including:
- Sessions at their host university with help applying for training contracts, CV and interview techniques, subject-specific revision sessions and legal workshops
- A residential conference
- E-mentoring from undergraduate law students
- Work experience in the legal sector
- A trip to the Inner Temple and Royal Courts of Justice
- A national graduation ceremony in London
- Many also receive further help and access to internships during their university course.
- Recruitment for Year 10 and Year 12 pupils will begin in August 2016.
Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “Our research has shown that there is still a big social mobility issue within the legal sector. Greater access to a wider pool of diverse talent will deliver real benefits for employers and employees alike. This is why Pathways to Law is so important. I’m delighted that our partnership with The Legal Education Foundation will enable us to expand the programme and support young people from a younger age and over four years.”
Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas, Head of the Department of Law and Professor of European Criminal Law at QMUL, said: “I am delighted that the Department of Law has joined the Sutton Trust’s Pathways to Law programme. Our participation reflects our leading position among research-led law schools in promoting and valuing diversity and confirms our long-standing commitment towards enhancing equality and social justice.”
Joanne Tallentire, Head of Admissions at QMUL, said: “We are excited to have joined the Pathways to Law programme. QMUL has a proud tradition of enabling students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access higher education and successfully enter the professions. We look forward to working in partnership with the Sutton Trust to helping more of our students to enter the legal profession.
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Queen Mary University of London