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In the battle to attract the best and brightest to the profession many firms have been making great strides to engage with students, and not just by offering them free pens at law fairs. Freshfields, as we revealed earlier this week, has gone one better than most.
The magic circle firm has joined forces with University College London (UCL) to provide two £10,000-per-year bursaries for UCL law students from socially and economically less privileged backgrounds.
The successful students will also receive an eight-week paid work placement at the firm each year throughout their degree and a guaranteed interview for a training contract.
Launching the programme, Freshfields senior partner Will Lawes said: “We live or die by the quality of people we attract. This [scheme] is part of the exercise to search far and wide for the best talent. We want to find people who might have that spark and attract them to a career in law.”
The emphasis on finding the best people is commendable, but how will other firms feel if these wannabe Freshfielders turn up at their doors looking for a training contract - will it be a bonus or a blight to have been lavished with so much attention by just one firm?
PS Look out for the latest Lawyer2B magazine, in which we look at the NQ market and the changing role of paralegals. We also ask what can be done to answer the great pupillage conundrum and ponder whether this is the end of the law degree…