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Firm expands initiative for more diversity in city law firms

PATHWAY TO SUCCESS: The programme is designed to develop bright students from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom are African Caribbean, and are interested in a career in City law

THE UK’S leading graduate diversity specialists has announced the expansion of its exclusive training programme for budding lawyers.

Rare Recruitment’s legal clients Herbert Smith Freehills and Travers Smith have joined Slaughter and May, Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance as partners of the social mobility project, called Discuss.

Now in its third year, the scheme’s success has been highlighted in a recent Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission report into accessibility within the profession. 

The programme is designed to develop bright students from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom are African Caribbean, and are interested in a career in City law.

Discuss programme Director and former City lawyer Melissa Andrewes said: “This programme aims to enable Discuss students to develop their enormous potential, securing a place on a vacation scheme and, beyond, a successful career in law.”

Aspiring commercial lawyers will be treated to one-on-one support and will also be able to attend group sessions at each of the partner firms, attended by partners, associates, trainees and graduate recruitment team members, and improve participants’ awareness of corporate law as well as of firms’ specific application processes.

Herbert Smith Freehills representative Veronica Roberts said: “We are going to be involved in a programme that truly levels the playing field for candidates who may lack access to the information, networks and insights that might have been afforded to others. As such it allows the truly excellent to shine and show their true potential.”

Last year, 12 candidates secured vacation scheme offers from the three firms involved.