SCHOOL BUSINESS NETWORK CULTIVATES YOUNG LAWYERS

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Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Chamber have come together to create an innovative Business School Network Scheme to create a young talent pipeline…

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Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Chamber have come together to create an innovative Business School Network Scheme that is bringing schools and businesses together, helping to create a young talent pipeline. We take a look at its most recent success cultivating young lawyers. 

Unrealistic perceptions

When most people think of lawyers they imagine judges and barristers in a courtroom trial drama on television. Often sensationalised, these legal themed dramas create a perception that does not reflect accurately the reality of the legal profession. You could be forgiven for thinking that this profession is staid, stuffy and exclusive. Actually that could not be further from the truth. The problem with such unrealistic perceptions is that it affects the recruitment of young talent who assume that they may not thrive in the profession. Stop for a minute and ask yourself have you ever thought of being a lawyer? Now ask yourself whether you have ever thought about the type of law you are interested in? If the answer to those questions are no and I didn’t know there were different types of law, then keep reading. You are not alone.

Law programme Launch

A collective of leading Liverpool law firms have teamed up with Liverpool City Council and the city’s Chamber of Commerce to address this. They have launched a new programme designed to widen access to the legal profession. A launch event, in February 2022, co-ordinated and hosted by Brabners, saw 15 students from colleges and sixth forms across the city region participate in a day-long series of legal skills workshops, studying case studies and delivering legal arguments. These were supported by top rate legal firms across Liverpool including Weightmans, MSB, In-House Legal Solutions, Jackson Lees and Carpenters Group. It was part of The School Business Network initiative that has been developed in partnership with Liverpool City Council following Liverpool Chamber’s to help businesses work with schools to raise the aspirations of students and highlight detailed career pathways. The network also provides mentoring, careers advice and in-work training across the Liverpool City Region. The new Law Programme is design to bust the perceptions and myths that prevent people from exploring a career in the legal profession. Despite being inclusive, less than one in five (17%) UK lawyers currently come from a lower socio-economic background. 

Inclusive

The initiative is proving a success. The law firms were really impressed with the students they met. The students loved it too, building an understanding the legal profession, the opportunities within it and the different routes to gaining qualifications.  They also gained a real insight into the different sectors of law from family law through to commercial law. Importantly, the workshops helped to break down the incorrect perception that the legal profession is intimidating and exclusive. Usha Sharma, Senior Associate at Brabners, said: “Diversity and social mobility have long been a challenge for the legal sector and, while progress has been made in recent years, there is room for us to do so much more as an industry. As a purpose-driven firm, we aim to demonstrate that business can act as a force for good – particularly in contributing to a more inclusive society. It has been really enjoyable collaborating with other firms to deliver this programme and we all look forward to welcoming more firms as it develops.”

If you have ever been inspired to consider being a lawyer, don’t be put off by incorrect perceptions. Take a little time to investigate the profession more. Talk to your career advisors and you’ll find a progressive inclusive legal environment across the Liverpool City Region.  If you are still at school look out for the next Business School Network Law Programme coming this summer.