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About Us

Increasing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession

We help aspiring trainee and qualified solicitors from diverse backgrounds prepare for and secure work placements, vacation schemes, training contracts and Associate roles with some of the UK and Ireland's top law firms, legal departments and in-house legal teams.

Coaching and mentoring
Insight from legal professionals
Legal sector work experience
Access to unique opportunities
Training contracts
Diversity schemes

Aspiring Solicitors was founded in 2013 to remove barriers to legal career entry for under-represented groups, and to increase meritocracy and inclusion in the profession.

Equity, diversity and inclusion in the legal sector

Our goal is for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession to have progressed to a genuine meritocracy across all underrepresented groups throughout the UK and Ireland so that Aspiring Solicitors no longer needs to exist.

Provide free support

We help level the playing field for aspiring solicitors from underrepresented groups in law, through the free support and advice available to members.

Educate the next generation

Through our work, we ensure that there is a better understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion within the next generation of lawyers.

Promote diversity

Working with early career legal professionals, Graduate Recruitment Partners, HR specialists, we can promote and encourage diversity and inclusion from within the profession.

of vacation scheme holders that attend our HeadStart workshops secure a training contract.

What we do

We work with law firms and legal teams to provide opportunities for aspiring solicitors from diverse backgrounds and to enhance equity, diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. Our programmes for students and graduates include coaching, mentoring, events and competitions.

Since 2013, our diverse members have been offered more than 8,000 training contracts and vacation schemes. To find out how we can help you launch your legal career, visit our member services page.


training contracts and vacation schemes

With our help, you can boost your chances of securing that first step on the legal career ladder.


legal mentors

Our legal professionals know first-hand what it’s like entering the profession from a non-traditional background.


AS members

Join the biggest diversity focused network in the legal profession, and kick-start your career with our potential-enhancing services.

Our values

  • Commitment: to our mission and vision, each other, our members, and our partners.
  • Unity: we embrace differences and strive for meritocracy to make us stronger together.
  • Promote difference: to champion diversity and inclusion at all times.
  • Authenticity: we genuinely care about removing discrimination and prejudice and strive to achieve meritocracy.
  • Respect: we treat others as we want to be treated ourselves, and positively encourage others to do the same.
  • Impatience for change: to ensure positive change and progression with results and action required in the legal profession without delay, whilst unequivocally rejecting discrimination and prejudice in all forms.

Under-represented groups

‘Diversity’ is a term used to refer to a wide range of different identities and communities. We are committed to offering support across all under-represented groups in the profession, and to truly support equity, inclusion and diversity in the broadest sense. We consider ‘under-represented’ groups to include aspiring solicitors who are:

  • socially mobile*
  • Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (excluding other white minorities)
  • disabled, neurodiverse, and/or have a long term health condition

*Given this is not a defined characteristic in the Equality Act 2010, there are multiple variations of this meaning. Aspiring Solicitors considers this to include (but not limited to) candidates who (i) were eligible for free school meals or pupil premium aged 11-16 due to financial limitations, (ii) were state school comprehensive educated and the first generation of their family to attend university, (iii) spent time in local authority care or (iv) came to this country as a refugee.

Chris White

Founder and CEO

“The son of a shop assistant and a builder, and the first in my family to go to university, I really noticed the elitism and discrimination within the legal profession during my early career. My own struggles left me determined to help others overcome the barriers that exist, and drive the evolution of the sector from the inside.”

Aspiring Solicitors was founded in 2013 as Chris’s mission to transform the legal profession so it more accurately reflects today’s diverse society, to everyone’s benefit. Giving up his career as a corporate solicitor with an international law firm was a huge step, but one he knew was essential in order to dedicate himself to helping others from underrepresented groups in the legal profession enter and thrive in the legal profession.

Our team

Since its inception, Aspiring Solicitors has not just grown to be the biggest diversity-focused network for the legal profession, but the team has flourished, and is powered by dedicated specialists to help our members and partner organisations progress with purpose.

Anita Gohil-Thorp (she/her)


Anita’s wealth of coaching experience helps our members uncover the full extent or their own resilience, strengths and potential to succeed as a solicitor. A former lawyer from a diverse background herself, Anita is both passionate about assisting under-represented groups into the profession, and well-placed to do so. In addition to her work at AS, she is a school governor, and has contributed to state school career guidance programmes.

Charis McGowan (she/her)

Diversity Talent Manager

Charis works across our Talent Development Team to deliver coaching, mock interviews and HeadStart sessions, as well as the Commercial Awareness Competition. Previously, Charis managed the Early Careers Recruitment team at DWF, leading the recruitment for trainee solicitors, apprentices and graduates across the UK and ROI. Charis is passionate about increasing access to the legal profession, driving positive change, and showcasing regional opportunities.

Harri Davies (he/him)

Associate Director, Commercial

Harri is responsible for securing funding for our programmes so that AS Members get all our support for free. Harking from rural Wales, he completed his legal training at an international law firm. This laid the foundations for his ambitions to work at a social enterprise and to make an impact with AS when he joined in 2017. His role is focused on enabling organisations and professionals across the legal industry to channel their skills and experience into the AS mission of diversifying the legal profession at all levels.

Jonathan Patel (he/him)

Senior Consultant, Talent

Working predominantly in the Talent Development Team, Jonathan is responsible for leading all our mentoring schemes with our partner law firms and corporates. He also created our market leading Virtual Diversity Law Fair, which regularly brings together over 50 law firms and legal teams, and hundreds of students every year. Prior to joining AS, Jonathan worked as a commercial property solicitor in London.

May Newton (she/her)


May delivers our coaching programmes, such as AS First, Aspire, Headstart, and one-to-one mock interviews. After 10 years working in graduate recruitment and development - at a range of top City law firms including Allen & Overy, Baker McKenzie, and Bristows – May brings with her a long-held interest in widening access to the profession and a strong belief in providing an inclusive working environment where trainees can flourish.

Sarah Harden (she/her)

Head of Brand and Marketing

Sarah looks after our marketing function, helping showcase the brilliant work AS does to provide access, support and opportunities to diverse aspiring solicitors, raising awareness within the industry and also attracting new members. Sarah attended a state school and graduated from a non-Rusell Group university. Alongside her marketing role, she is motivated to help people be their best selves and is training to be a counsellor in her spare time.

Simranjeet Mann (she/her)

Brand and Marketing Consultant

Simranjeet works predominantly in the Brand & Marketing team. After establishing a successful personal brand, Simranjeet now channels her passion into enhancing AS' social media presence. Her efforts aim to ensure that a diverse audience continues to discover the various offerings available. Prior to joining AS, Simranjeet was a newly qualified commercial solicitor. Hailing from a selective state school and proudly being a South Asian woman, Simranjeet is deeply committed to advancing DE&I in the legal space - a commitment she seamlessly integrates into her role at AS.

Zoe Brown (she/her)

Senior Head of Coaching

Zoe heads up our coaching and mentoring service as part of our Talent Development Team. A qualified solicitor, she trained at a Magic Circle firm and practised as a finance lawyer for several years. During that time Zoe participated in graduate recruitment initiatives, and spent three years as a graduate recruiter, before becoming a career coach. As a minority ethnic woman in law and a career changer herself, Zoe is particularly invested in unlocking diverse candidates’ potential.

Improve your legal career opportunities

It’s free to join Aspiring Solicitors. Access our career-boosting member services and opportunities by signing up with us today.