Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has pledged to kick-start the careers of two aspiring lawyers each year by offering scholarships, work experience and guaranteed training contract interviews.
The magic circle firm has joined forces with University College London (UCL) to provide two £10,000-per-year bursaries for UCL law students from socially and economically less privileged backgrounds.
The successful students will also receive an eight-week paid work placement at the firm each year throughout their degree, and will be eligible to participate in UCL’s bursary scheme to provide additional support of up to £3,500.
Freshfields senior partner Will Lawes said: “We live or die by the quality of people we attract. This [scheme] is part of the exercise to search far and wide for the best talent. We want to find people who might have that spark and attract them to a career in law.”
To apply, would-be lawyers will need to prove that they have the academic ability to succeed as a City lawyer and meet the criteria to measure their social circumstances.
The annual eight-week work placements will be split throughout each year, with the candidates undertaking two weeks in the Christmas and Easter holidays, and a four-week scheme in the summer.
“The financial side is important but we feel our commitment to eight-weeks [of work experience] a year, the mentoring, the inclusion in the firm’s social activities and soft skills training are key,” added Freshfields partner Barry O’Brien.
“With a guaranteed interview for a training contract and 24 weeks’ work experience with the firm, the scholarship students will have the perfect platform for a successful career with us.”