National firm Eversheds has radically overhauled its online trainee application form to make the system fairer for students from non-traditional backgrounds.

The move is part of Eversheds’ new graduate recruitment campaign, which was launched following a root-and-branch review of the firm’s trainee recruitment methods.

The new application form will no longer automatically reject candidates who do not meet the firm’s minimum academic criteria. It will instead take into account both a candidate’s academic achievements and their relevant work experience and give them a score.

Blended application forms are virtually unheard of in the legal sector, but Eversheds graduate recruitment and development manager Kerry Reed said: “Only looking at applicants who have a 2:1 and great A-levels cuts out a lot of candidates who would make great lawyers but have had differing educational experiences.

“Educational standards have changed over the years and they don’t give recruiters the same confidence to be able to differentiate candidates as they used to. We’re taking a more holistic approach to our recruitment, which will enable us to recruit great future lawyers with a diverse range of skills and backgrounds.”

Previously Eversheds’ minimum academic requirements were 300 Ucas points and a 2:1, although it accepted applications from those with lower grades if they had extenuating circumstances.