The Black Aspiring Solicitors Scheme (BASS) returns for its sixth year, in partnership with A&O Shearman, Herbert Smith Freehills, Mayer Brown and Taylor Wessing.

Each sponsoring firm invites a cohort of Black and mixed-race Black heritage mentees to join its BASS scheme for a series of virtual and/or in-person workshops hosted from September to mid-November 2024.

The workshops are designed to upskill you and develop your application skills, commercial awareness, and insights into working in commercial law. You’ll also build your peer and professional networks and develop your soft skills.

How do I apply for BASS?

BASS is part of our leading coaching programme developed by former commercial lawyers at leading UK law firms. Being selected for BASS affords you access to a wide range of career-advancing services including careers and employability workshops, 1-2-1 mock interviews and application review, unique events and law firm insight days. BASS ensures you have access to well-rounded preparation for becoming a qualified lawyer.

Next steps

To be considered for BASS, you must apply to AS Aspire and be successful with your Aspire application.  Please register your interest via the link here, noting that this is not the full Aspire application form but a registration of interest only.

We will screen registrations and invite only those who are eligible to apply to Aspire to complete the full application form in June/July, so please ensure that you meet the Aspire eligibility criteria before applying.


To apply for this opportunity, you must:

  • Be an Aspiring Solicitors member (from at least one of our underrepresented groups)
  • Not have accepted a training contract with any law firm or legal team
  • Not have been on Aspire previously
  • Have an interest in pursuing a legal career in the UK or Ireland
  • Be eligible to apply for a vacation scheme in the 2024/25 academic year. This means you will need to be one of: a penultimate and final year Law undergraduate, a final year non-law undergraduate, a graduate of any degree, a postgraduate student (including GDL/LPC/LLM or other postgraduate degrees), a career changer or someone who has completed a degree and is working.) Anyone who will be in their first year of a Law degree or first/second year of a non-Law degree in 2024/2025 is not eligible
  • Be resident in the UK or Ireland in the academic year 2024/2025
  • Ideally be physically be present in the UK between September 2024 until late November 2024 (to attend interviews and/or vacation schemes in person)
  • Have received AAB at A Level (or the international equivalent) (please note we genuinely take into account mitigating circumstances and usually enjoy 30-50% NRG participants)
  • Have received or be on target for at least a 2.1 degree classification (please note we take into account mitigating circumstances)