City Solicitor’s Educational Trust

City Solicitor’s Educational Trust

Grant: £150,000
November 25, 2015

City Solicitors Horizons is a pilot social mobility initiative to improve access to the legal profession for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. It has been initiated by the City of London Solicitors’ Company, City Solicitors’ Educational Trust (CSET) and The Legal Education Foundation (TLEF), with the support of the City of London Law Society (CLLS) and leading law firms.

Over the next three years, 50 undergraduates annually will be selected to take part in a three year programme alongside their undergraduate degrees. Each intake will benefit from comprehensive classroom and one-to-one training sessions, mentoring from lawyers, and work experience from sponsoring firms.

Research has shown that bright and hard-working students from disadvantaged backgrounds still find it difficult to obtain training contracts compared with their contemporaries from more privileged backgrounds.

This problem was highlighted earlier in 2015 by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission in its report into non-educational barriers to the elite professions. It reported that working class applicants struggle to get access to top jobs because elite firms systematically exclude working class applicants by applying a “poshness test” to gain entry. Applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds are seen as being less likely to have the soft skills and experiences required for entry into top firms.

City Solicitors Horizons will address the barriers to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds joining the legal profession by introducing a programme which will run for the duration of undergraduates’ courses and will include comprehensive classroom and one-to-one training sessions, mentoring from experienced lawyers, and work experience.

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