Aspiring Solicitors is delighted and proud to be partnering with Herbert Smith Freehills, Mayer Brown and Reed Smith to deliver the first Black Aspiring Solicitors Mentoring Scheme to members of black and mixed black heritage in 2019. This unique scheme stands to deepen participants’ knowledge and understanding of working at the firm and importantly, create pathways for and enhance access to the legal profession for black law and non-law students.
Participants on the scheme will benefit from access to regular mentoring with lawyers across the firms, bespoke in-house workshop sessions and tailored application and interview advice. The combination of regular mentoring, interactive workshops and exclusive networking opportunities will be particularly invaluable to students ahead of the competitive application season.
Chris White, Founder of Aspiring Solicitors, shares: “The Aspiring Solicitors Black Mentoring Scheme will help more excellent black aspiring solicitors secure vacation schemes and training contracts with three great AS Affiliate law firms alongside our existing coaching and mentoring successes we’ve enjoyed with our partner law firms to date. We are confident that the Scheme will make an immediate and tangible difference to Black aspiring solicitors securing vacation schemes in 2019 and 2020 with the supporting firms and we look forward to sharing further details about their respective successes in 2020.”
John Whiteoak, Disputes partner and Chair of HSF’s Diversity and Inclusion Group, UK, US and EMEA states: “The opportunity to support anyone aspiring to build a successful career path is a privilege that should not be taken lightly and we are delighted to offer an insight into the legal profession. As a firm we continuously push for better diversity, striving to build a working environment that reflects society and demonstrates that the barriers to career progression can – and should – be knocked down.”
Sally Davies, Senior partner at Mayer Brown in London said “I am relentless in my pursuit for equality and opportunity across the profession and initiatives such as the Black Aspiring Solicitors Mentoring Scheme are vital if we are to break down barriers and recognise diversity as something to be celebrated. We acknowledge we still have lots to do, however Mayer Brown will continue to support Aspiring Solicitors as part of our commitment to increasing access to the profession and creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce.”
Reed Smith’s D&I Partner, Sakil Suleman, shares: “Maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce is integral to the high quality service we provide to our clients. We recognise that to achieve our aims, we need to make constant effort to widen our recruiting pool. This Scheme is aimed at attracting more black and mixed heritage candidates to the law and helping to level the playing field – aims which sit very comfortably with our BAME programme. Reed Smith is delighted to be one of the founding partners of the Scheme and to work with AS on this exciting new project.”