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The University of Liverpool has joined the Pathways to Law programme, an initiative designed to enable academically able pupils from non-privileged homes to gain access to the legal profession.
Administered by the Sutton Trust and funded by the Legal Education Foundation, the scheme provides support and opportunities to GCSE students in Year 10 and 11, as well as throughout Sixth Form.
Professor Debra Morris, Head of the University’s School of Law and Social Justice, said: “We are extremely proud to become a Pathways to Law partner University.
“We have designed an exciting programme of activities which will raise students’ aspirations, enhance their employability, and demystify law as an academic discipline.
“Being part of this innovative programme gives further expression to the principles on which the School of Law and Social Justice was founded.
“Participation and inclusion are hallmarks of ‘social justice’ and therefore a programme which aims to widen access to the highest echelons of the legal profession is entirely consistent with our ethos.”
The 1,800 students from across the UK engaged by Pathways to Law each receive a four year programme of support, including sessions to help with CVs and interviews, a residential conference, mentoring, work experience, a trip to the Inner Temple and Royal Courts of Justice, a national graduation ceremony and help securing internships.
The programme has just secured a £1m expansion in funding. Liverpool joins 11 other partner Universities in the scheme, as part of the new cohort of four, including University of Roehampton, Queen Mary University of London and University of Leicester. Recruitment for Year 10 and Year 12 pupils will begin in August 2016.
Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: “Our research has shown that there is still a big social mobility issue within the legal sector. Greater access to a wider pool of diverse talent will deliver real benefits for employers and employees alike.
“This is why Pathways to Law is so important. I’m delighted that our partnership with The Legal Education Foundation will enable us to expand the programme and support young people from a younger age and over four years.”
A YouGov poll of senior figures in the legal industry, carried out by the Sutton Trust, found a majority (52%) agreed that improving social mobility in the profession would be beneficial to their firm.
The other universities in the Pathways to Law scheme are: Bristol University, University of Exeter, University of Leeds, London School of Economics, University of Manchester, University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, University of Oxford and University of Warwick.
To find out more about the Pathways to Law programme, please visit www.suttontrust.com/programmes/pathways-to-law/
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