LEF grant for Sutton Trust enables ‘Pathways’ extension

LEF grant for Sutton Trust enables ‘Pathways’ extension



Following today’s official launch of The Legal Education Foundation (TLEF, formerly The College of Law, www.thelegaleducationfoundation.org), the Sutton Trust confirmed the TLEF’s grant to Pathways to Law will enable it to extend its legal access programme to 12 new universities over the next four years.

For the first time, Oxford University joins the programme, with Exeter and Essex universities, together with University of Nottingham in partnership with Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University.  These new partners will join the seven existing Pathways universities to provide 1200 places over the next four years.

The 12 universities have been announced following a tender process. TLEF is the largest single funder of Pathways, but a third of delivery costs is met by Universities. It is also financially supported by the Law Society and a number of law firms which provide sponsorship: Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, DLA Piper, Eversheds, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters and Mayer Brown. In addition, over 20 more firms also supply invaluable work placements to Pathways students.

Phase 3 of Pathways will bring greater regional coverage for the scheme, which continues to be the biggest access initiative for the legal profession. Targeting of students will also be tighter and new mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the programme’s impact are being put in place.  Recruitment will begin after the summer.

The full list of the phase 3 Pathways to Law universities is:

  • University of Bristol
  • University College London
  • University of Essex
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Leeds
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Nottingham in partnership with Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Warwick

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:

“We are delighted with the interest we have had in the next phase of Pathways which is a reflection of the great reputation the programme has built up over the last six years. We are pleased to welcome five universities in joining the seven already in the programme.

“Pathways continues to be a great way for the profession to nurture and support talent it would not otherwise reach. We are very grateful to The Legal Education Foundation and the law firms which are supporting this next phase.”

Guy Beringer, chairman of The Legal Education Foundation, commented:

“This is an important time for the legal sector. There are increased pressures on access to justice, access to the legal profession and access to legal education. These pressures affect the public as well as students of law and legal practitioners. We want the Foundation to support the many innovative and creative projects which are responding to these pressures.”

For further information, please contact Ellie Decamp or Conor Ryan at the Sutton Trust on 020 7802 1660


1. The Sutton Trust is a foundation set up in 1997, dedicated to improving social mobility through education. It has published 135 research studies and funded and evaluated programmes that have helped hundreds of thousands of young people of all ages, from early years through to Access to the Professions.

2. The Legal Education Foundation was set up to promote the advancement of legal education and the study of law. It was created in 2012 with the monies received from the sale of The College of Law.  For more information see www.thelegaleducationfoundation.org

3. The current phase of Pathways to Law is delivered by seven Russell group universities – Bristol, Leeds, the London School of Economics & Political Science, Manchester, Southampton, University College London and Warwick – with support from over 30 law firms, including sponsor firms Allen and Overy, Clifford Chance, DLA Piper, Eversheds, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters and Mayer Brown, plus the Law Society. It is managed and funded by the Sutton Trust and The Legal Education Foundation (TLEF) and supplemented by donations from firms and organisations within the legal profession.

4. 95% of those taking part in Pathways to Law in recent years have been first generation students whose parents had not been to university. The programme is open to low and middle income state school students, but 66% are from low performing schools and 29% live in the poorest postcodes. Half of the Pathways students gain places at leading universities.

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