It intends to assist students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds
The multi-national law firm, Linklaters is expanding a scholarship programme for students in legal careers from disadvantaged and racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds across seven offices in continental Europe. The move comes after successfully piloting the scheme at its London headquarters.
The Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) scholarship scheme is designed to lower barriers and includes a €3,000 stipend. It will be offered in Linklaters' offices in Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon, Luxembourg, Milan, Paris and Stockholm, in addition to London.
Comprising up to two candidates per office, the programme will have a maximum of 16 seats. The initiative was developed as part of the firm's Making Links programme, launched in 2018. It covered schemes focused on attracting, recruiting and developing talent from under-represented backgrounds.
As Making Links scholars, students gain access to professional mentoring sessions, internship and networking opportunities, access to Linklaters' events and local office activities.
Declan Mcloughlin, a former Making Links scholar and current Linklaters legal assistant said, "There are very few people from my sort of background in law. I did not quite realize that my skills were valuable until someone sat me down and talked me through it and that only came from the mentorship I got with the scholarship."
Paloma Fierro, Linklaters' global diversity and inclusion partner, added, "The programme offers support that historically many individuals entering the legal profession might naturally have had access to through family, school, or other networks. To ensure that the sector is truly representative and inclusive we need to even the level playing field and ensure equal opportunities to all."
Earlier, the firm had added an additional limb to the Making Links programme. It teamed up with the Social Mobility Foundation and the Amos Bursary to launch Making Links Discovery, an 18-month programme. It included 30 students (16-18 years) from across the UK. The students got the opportunity to be fast-tracked onto the scholarship programme.