New programme also looks to help young wannabe lawyers from racially diverse backgrounds through tutoring, mentoring and work shadowing opportunities

Linklaters is looking to broaden access to the legal profession through a new programme which sees it offer careers support to teenagers from disadvantaged and racially diverse backgrounds.

The first stage of the scheme, Making Links Discovery, provides young aspiring lawyers between the ages of 16 and 18 with a range of support including mentoring, work shadowing, introduction to legal concepts and law as a career, as well as personal finance, CV, interview and UCAS advice.

Students will then have the option to apply to progress onto stage two of the 18-month programme and receive further support through individual tutoring to assist with A-Level (or equivalent) studies.

Successful stage two candidates will also have opportunity to be fast-tracked onto the firm’s Making Links Scholarship programme — an initiative that sees the magic circle player make a contribution of up to £6,000 towards their university fees and living costs.

Links has drafted in the Social Mobility Foundation and the Amos Bursary, a charity that seeks to address the under representation of young British people of African and Caribbean descent in higher education, to help select suitable candidates for the programme.

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Fionnghuala Griggs, trainee recruitment partner at Linklaters, commented:

“Early opportunities play a crucial role in opening up access to and achieving true diversity in the legal sector. Making Links Discovery will enable us to develop a distinct pipeline of, and strong engagement with, students from across the UK who want to pursue a career in the law but might not otherwise have had the opportunity or resources to do so.”

Links isn’t the first magic circle player to up its social mobility and diversity efforts in recent months.

In February, Freshfields announced the launch of a new mentoring programme which sees sixth-form students take part in work experience and skills sessions led by the firm’s employees. Participants, all of whom will come from lower socio-economic and racially diverse backgrounds, will also be eligible for a paid internship at one of its UK offices.