CC mentoring scheme offers black students a helping hand

British African and Caribbean students may find the path to a corporate career more accessible thanks to the involvement of Clifford Chance in a programme aimed at improving educational potential among this group.

The African and Caribbean Diversity (ACDiversity) mentoring and enrichment programme has been in existence since 1998, focusing on a combination of academic, motivational and cultural work aimed at helping young students improve exam results and build confidence. Twenty-three British students from state schools, identified as having the potential to do well academically, will take part this year.

This latest scheme in a line of ACDiversity initiatives supported by the firm will see 10 Clifford Chance members commit to mentoring 10 pupils of black African and Caribbean heritage. The mentoring will take place over the course of two years, in the hope of helping the pupils achieve at least five GCSEs from A* to C grade.

The programme includes a week-long residential summer school at Wadham College, Oxford University. Brenda King, MBE and chair of ACDiversity, said: “A small team will be going to Oxford on 24 August to give the mentees some insight regarding magic circle firms and the opportunities that exist – legal opportunities as well as other roles such as IT. This gives them a flavour of what a corporate law firm is all about.”

A career fair for black graduates is also on the agenda, where Clifford Chance will exhibit and present a seminar. “Black children have difficulties entering the corporate sector. Clifford Chance will talk to them about working for a law firm in the City so the students can be aware of the opportunities out there,” King said.