The Pathways to Law scheme is currently available to students in years 12 and 13 who are from ‘non-privileged homes’ yet have the academic potential to pursue a career in law. The Sutton Trust have announced that this programme will be extended to include pupils in years 10 and 11, giving them access to four years of support including help with writing CV’s, applying for training contracts and looking for work experience. This is possible due to the £1m funding by those in the legal profession including the Legal Education Foundation, Law Society, Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Ashurst.
The scheme will be open to 1,800 students and will be run by Universities including the University of Roehampton, Queen Mary University of London and the University of Liverpool. The need for an initiative such as this is evident from the statistics gathered from the Sutton Trust that indicate three-quarters of senior judges and QCs were privately educated. In order to pursue a career in law, it is beneficial to have the GCSE and A-levels which universities consider to be beneficial for undertaking a law degree. By introducing the programme at a younger age, it opens up possibilities for students who did not think that a career in law was accessible and allows them to plan for the future.
Legal Education Foundation chief executive Matthew Smerdon said: ‘by reaching students at an earlier stage, we hope to encourage more bright young people from poorer homes [to recognise] that a career in law is open to them’. The benefit will be for both students and employers who will have access to ‘a wider pool of diverse talent’.
For more information on the Pathways to Law programme please visit the Sutton Trust’s website.