Norton Rose Fulbright to offer legal apprenticeships to underprivileged
The scheme will identify talent from unrepresented backgrounds for possible induction into the legal industry
Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF), one of the largest global law firms, has decided to promote talent from the unrepresented and underprivileged group in the UK for their possible induction into the legal industry.
The idea under the legal apprenticeship programme, unveiled recently, is to promote alternative pathways for school leavers as part of its ongoing set of social mobility commitments.
The apprenticeship programme incorporates a six-year solicitor track in London and a two-year paralegal qualification in Newcastle. It will kick off in September.
NRF has joined several other leading UK law firms like Eversheds Sutherland, Osborne Clarke, Kennedys, Dentons, CMS and Dentons in exploring a non-traditional path to uncover and promote bright talents into the legal industry from under-represented backgrounds.
"The launch of our apprenticeship programme represents an important step in our social mobility journey and comes at a time when a spotlight has been shone on the need for action to improve access to professional industries and progression within them," said Clementine Hogarth, London corporate partner and a member of NRF's first socioeconomic mobility taskforce.
The firm has iterated that its environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles would reflect in the programme's recruitment process. NRF aims to get on board three solicitor apprentices and six paralegal apprentices from a socioeconomically diverse section from among the pool of those with strong academic credentials in the first intake.
Besides the traditional legal skills, the scheme intends to familiarize apprentices with specialist technology knowledge to equip them for the growing dependence of the legal industry on digital transformation.
"We hope that through this programme we will be able to open up career opportunities to students in our local communities in South East London and Newcastle and we are excited to see a new, wider pool of talent applying to be part of our firm," Clementine Hogarth added.