Students graduate from CoL Pathways scheme

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  • This scheme sounds very unfair.

    Once again, those at the top of the scale are usually fine by themselves, can afford the best schools, the best education, often have connections etc etc.

    Those at the bottom of the scale get countless non-repayable grants, diversity schemes like this one and 'special opportunities'

    But those in the middle....whose parent may have gone to university, but still from a working class background at a poor state school etc etc get absolutely nothing!

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  • '...Those graduating have completed Pathways at the same time as meeting the heavy academic demands of their final school years, planning their futures and applying for university...'

    .....since when was it an achievement to do work experience as well as your studies?? I thought this was the norm! Even less of an achievement when the students on the Pathways scheme are essentially spoon fed contacts?

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  • Anonymous | 12-Jul-2010 5:11 pm

    it's not just if you've been to a poor state school that this is unfair.. If you have contacts in the industry then great, you're fine. But nowadays going to a good private school and university means you're the first to have the door shut in your face when firms start thinking about increasing their "diversity".
    These schemes are grossly injust to the vast majority of students who are neither from an underperforming state school or have fathers/uncles at the top of City firms or Chambers.
    This majority have worked hard (whether in private or state education) got into to good universities (ones that actually require the LNAT) and work just as hard as disadvantaged kids to get a 2.1 in their degree and are finding it harder and harder to get anywhere because of these diversity "initiatives" and pressure groups who "name and shame" any firm who dares hire someone who isn't officially "diverse".
    Positive discrimination is still discrimination and is actually as contrary to fundamental human rights as regular discrimination.

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  • I think a bit of perspective is required here.

    The Pathways programme is specifically aimed at students from lower socio-economic groups who despite showing academic potential might not otherwise apply to university or consider a career in law. The primary aim is to raise expectations rather than identify potential candidates for training contracts.

    In addition to supporting the Pathways programme Pinsent Masons also offer an award-winning work experience programme to ALL sixth form students irrespective of background. The process is clearly advertised through our website and in addition to this we send marketing material to over 100 local schools encouraging them to promote the scheme to their students.

    This year we have offered opportunities to over 150 students across four different intakes during the academic year to make it easier for students to attend. We also offer a more limited gap year programme that provides a structured eight month paid placement to students prior to going to university.

    'Seek and ye shall find!'

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  • Having worked as a Mentor and Group Leader at this Conference, as a Law student going through the TC Application process, some of these comments are somewhat surprising.

    Pathways is an excellent way of giving these students those initial experiences of the Law; plenty complete the course and decide the Law is not for them - no one will ever be THAT good at photocopying so as to bag a Training Contract aged 17!

    It does give top level work experience to students, but as a student from 'the middle' without any outside support, I can categorically state that work experience is not impossible to find, you just have to work a bit harder for it. High street breeds Regional, Regional breeds National etc. To sit back and howl 'foul play' at schemes like this misses the point.

    Also, images of private school students having doors slammed in the faces due to their educational background are somewhat ambitious.

    My background is in state comprehensive schooling and my experiences at my top 5 University has been that often, but not always, these privately educated students are simply not as hard-working and driven, and their marks reflect this.

    Pathways is a fantastic Scheme which does 'open up' the legal profession slightly for some students. For this it should be commended, not criticised for not providing an equal level of assistence for every student in the country.

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