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Bird & Bird has launched a bursary scheme to give students from underprivileged backgrounds financial assistance to study law.
The bursary, which is being run by the firm’s diversity head and commercial partner Simon Shooter, will see four students receive awards of £2,500 for each year of their law degrees.
The firm will also provide funding for items such as laptops, although it will review this on a case-by-case basis. A junior solicitor or trainee will be assigned as a mentor to each student.
Shooter said: “We were looking at the various pushes being made into diversity and, being a natural sceptic, we thought everyone was looking at statistics when they should be trying to make a difference.
“One of the difficulties when looking at diversity in City law firms is that you have a very small pond to fish from, and we wanted to see what we could do to make a practical difference.”