As a firm, we strive for an inclusive, meritocratic culture, where everyone is treated fairly and is supported to achieve their true potential.
We want the best. And we passionately believe that success should be determined by how hard you work and the skills and talents you have, not by your background or upbringing.
We sponsor the Law Society’s annual Diversity Access Scheme, which works to improve social mobility by supporting entrants who face exceptional social, educational, financial or personal obstacles to qualification. In 2015, we held eight workshops for primary and secondary school pupils to give them an insight into careers in law, helped by volunteers from within the firm, both lawyers and support staff.
We also ran our first mentoring programme in 2015. This involved nine lawyers and support staff mentoring nine sixth form students for six weeks. One student was awarded a one-week work experience placement for the best presentation. We are running this programme again in 2016.
We visit a wide range of universities and do not place emphasis on one university over another during the recruitment and selection process. We also do not filter applicants solely on minimum A-level grades. Emphasis is placed on performance at university and on demonstrating the firm’s key competencies.
We work closely with a number of external organisations and take part in a number of specialist programmes, as we realise that young people from less advantaged social backgrounds still face barriers on their route to pursuing a career in law. More information on these programmes can be found below.
We put great emphasis on serving our local community, in the form of volunteering opportunities for all personnel and partnerships with charities and non-profit organisations.
Client Brentford FC’s Community Sports Trust is a partnership we began in 2015, working in the local community to encourage participation, inclusion and engagement.
We also worked with City Year UK, a youth and education charity that supports children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In partnership with our client Andaz, we continue to support Providence Row’s Bakery Project, which provides training, work experience and employment opportunities for homeless and vulnerably housed people.
We are involved in two partnerships with Create (Arts). Create/U-Turn provides creative workshops such as music, drama, animation, arts and crafts to vulnerable women in East London. In addition to volunteering, our lawyers also provide pro bono legal support.
“ I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the session today. It was lovely to meet all of those involved. They were asking for me to come back next week. So you were right: I think everyone should take part – it is enjoyable and worthwhile.” Create/U-Turn participant
As well as these specific partnerships, throughout 2015 we took part in a number of fundraising events within the office, such as Jeans for Genes for Genetic Disorders UK; Macmillan Coffee Morning for Macmillan Cancer; Wear it Pink for Breast Cancer; and Christmas Jumper Day for Save the Children.
Supporting Corporate and Social Responsibility at Reed Smith