Addleshaws pilot shows that privilege is ‘not prerequisite’ for legal career

Addleshaw Goddard has successfully piloted its first legal work experience for 16 and 17 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Mary Gallagher
Mary Gallagher

The Legal Access Week programme gave 10 students from two state secondary schools the opportunity to experience life as a lawyer at the firm’s London and Leeds offices.

Diversity manager Mary Gallagher said: “We wanted to show these young people that a privileged upbringing is not a prerequisite to becoming a lawyer.

“The students who took part seemed to really enjoy the experience and we would, of course, love to see them enter the legal profession in the future, perhaps even as trainees here.”

In London the firm worked in partnership with the Access Project, a charity that aims to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds win places at top universities.

The students from Highbury Grove School in Islington and Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College in Leeds applied for the scheme by submitting a letter detailing how they would benefit from the experience.

Those selected got the chance to shadow trainees and associates, as well as attend skills workshops and take part in a visit to a court. The students also completed a due diligence exercise.

Addleshaws plans to continue the scheme next year, and increase the number of students by expanding it to its office in Manchester.