Wider access to the legal profession at the heart of shortlisted programme.
LexisNexis , a leading provider of content and technology solutions, has pledged its continued support of a UK diversity programme that has been shortlisted for a new award.
The global company backs the Legal Social Mobility Partnership (LSMP), which aims to widen access to the legal profession, and has been named a finalist in the Innovation category of the inaugural UK Social Mobility Awards.
The LSMP programme is a collaboration of more than 70 world-leading law firms, in-house teams, commercial organisations and professional sports clubs that works with schools and colleges to allow students from non-privileged backgrounds to gain an understanding of the legal profession in the context of business.
It takes the form of a week of training and work experience in both law and personal development, supported by a dedicated website and virtual coaching. The programme, which has benefited more than 300 students, began in London in 2014 and now operates in seven UK cities, with plans to expand further.
LexisNexis is fully committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion and supports LSMP through the provision of leadership, training and venues.
Head of LexisPSL and LSMP steering committee member, Sophie Gould, recently led the launch of a new “cluster” in Brighton, with partners Southern Water, American Express, Virgin Atlantic and ITV.
She said: “While it is tempting for organisations to support diversity in a tick-box way, LexisNexis is keen to go much further, looking at different ways to make a real difference to the next generation of lawyers.
“This superbly innovative programme has seen a wide range of organisations pull together in partnership and open up the legal profession to more than 300 young people already.
“LSMP is perfectly in tune with the LexisNexis “Rule of Law” global commitment to advance the rule of law around the world – which is why have no hesitation in giving the programme our full and ongoing support.”
Shama Aktar is studying law at City University after taking part in the programme in 2015, which included work experience with law firm Slaughter and May. She said: “LSMP is a great programme and a fantastic opportunity for young individuals who aspire to work in the legal profession. It has had a big impact on my life and is something I will always refer back to.”
Nick Ward, North London director at education charity Teach First, said: “In the UK, young people from low-income backgrounds are half as likely to take part in work experience compared to those from wealthier backgrounds. This programme has helped raise the aspirations of our pupils whilst equipping them with the knowledge and skills required to secure a place on their chosen path post school.”
The winners of the UK Social Mobility awards are due to be announced on October 12th at the London Marriott Hotel.