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Pathways to Law graduates

Future South West lawyers to benefit from £1m programme

More aspiring lawyers from non-privileged homes in the South West will benefit from a pioneering initiative designed to widen access to the legal profession.

The University of Exeter will continue to offer the Sutton Trust’s Pathways to Law programme, which will provide four years of support to young people as they progress through education. Experts help them to apply for a university or training place.

The programme is targeted at academically able pupils from non-privileged homes, and is delivered by the University of Exeter and other partner universities across the country.

The Sutton Trust has announced today that for the first time, the programme, which is funded by the Legal Education Foundation and 10 leading law firms, will provide support for GCSE students in years 10 and 11, as well as throughout sixth form.

Professor Tim Quine, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education), said: “The Pathways to Law programme has enabled us to offer invaluable opportunities to students from across the South West region. Those who have enrolled on the programme through the University of Exeter are fantastic ambassadors for the scheme and it was a great pleasure to meet many of the most recent graduating cohort of 30 at our celebration last month. We are delighted to continue working with the Sutton Trust and the Legal Foundation to support aspirational young people into higher education in this way."

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.”

Sutton Trust research shows three-quarters of top judges and 71 per cent of top QCs were privately educated – proportions that have decreased only slightly since the 1980s. YouGov polling shows 52 per cent of senior figures in the legal industry believe improving social mobility in the legal profession would be beneficial to their firm.

A total of 1,800 students nationally will receive a four year programme of support including workshops on CV and interview techniques, subject-specific revision sessions and legal workshops. They will also get work experience, E-mentoring from undergraduate law students and a trip to the Inner Temple and Royal Courts of Justice.

Recruitment for Year 10 and Year 12 pupils will begin in August 2016.

Date: 13 May 2016

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