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Linklaters has taken on the sponsorship of a programme aimed at encouraging ethnic minority and working-class A-level students to pursue a career in law.
The Young Graduates for Lawyers programme will see 30 high-achieving students selected every year to follow a two-year development programme aimed at ensuring they receive the skills and education to become a successful lawyer at one of the top firms.
It will be run by Global Graduates and is also sponsored by the Sutton Trust, a charity aimed at providing education opportunities for children and young people from non-privileged backgrounds.
At an event to mark the three-year sponsorship, 17-year-old Tom Keya, who has been on the programme for a year, spoke about his experiences. When I joined I hoped to be able to gain a little insight into the legal profession, meet a couple of lawyers and see who I was competing against, but what I received was much more. There are chances to attend places you could never dream of attending at this age, such as Grays Inn, and at a conference I attended I met the Lord Chancellor and the president of the Law Society. For a 17-year-old ethnic minority person, I think Ive achieved quite a bit, he said.
Linklaters managing partner Tony Angel said: Law firms, like other professional service firms, need to attract and retain the best people from whatever background they may come. We must because we owe it to the communities in which we operate and because it makes good business sense do everything we can to expand and develop the pool of talent on which we can draw.