Magic circle law firm Freshfields will take on hundreds of students from lower socio-economic and racially diverse backgrounds, in a push to promote social mobility and racial equality in professional careers.
For the next three years Freshfields will take on 100 students per year, aged 16 – 17, as part of a UK-wide programme to help those from backgrounds who may not typically have access to professional careers.
The students will take part in work shadowing and skills sessions led by Freshfields’ employees, and will be eligible for a paid internship at one of the firm’s UK offices.
Freshfields will offer paid accommodation to any students who successfully apply for the internship, to ensure there are minimals barriers to participation.
The programme is in partnership with with the Social Mobility Foundation.
“We strongly believe that career success should not be defined by an individual’s social background or ethnicity, and we feel we need to do what we can to address the systemic issues which create barriers for many,” said Freshfields London managing partner Claire Wills.
“The new programme will enable us to reach those with less access to privilege and opportunity, and help equip them with the tools and knowledge to succeed.”
Freshfields global centre director Olivia Balson added: “The launch of the programme has landed at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on the less-socially mobile communities in our society.”