The BLD Foundation was founded by Debo Nwauzu, a non-practising Solicitor, in February 2006, with the charitable aim of promoting the advancement of education of people of African, Asian, Caribbean and socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds in the UK. In recognition of the fact that ethnic minority and socio-economically underprivileged youngsters in the UK are less likely to gain access to the legal profession and are therefore disproportionately disadvantaged in obtaining training contracts and future opportunities to work in law, the Legal Gateway Scheme was launched in January 2008.
Our Legal Gateway Scheme is made up of 4 programmes which have supported over 4000 students since 2008. The programmes target students between the ages of 13-30 to raise their aspirations and awareness of opportunities that exist within the legal and other professions. Our Today’s Children, Tomorrow’s Lawyers, First Headstart, Legal Launch Pad and Make a Difference, Be the Difference programmes are designed to support students from school through and beyond university, providing guidance through practice and mentoring for all aspects of the legal recruitment process. Access to the programme is free for students and selection is by online application.
On our flagship Legal Launch Pad programme, successful applicants undertake a series of intensive training seminars (areas covered include routes into the profession, presentation skills, commercial awareness and negotiations exercises, interview coaching, and drafting (CVs, cover letters and application forms). Each participant is further guaranteed work placements run by sponsoring organisations and receives one-to-one support including mentoring.
We run an established and respected national programme with a focus on diversity, social mobility and talent nurturing. We are sponsored by leading law firms, Chambers, Law Schools, FTSE 100 companies and Trusts and Foundations.