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Social Mobility at Norton Rose Fulbright

Social mobility at Norton Rose Fulbright

We understand that success in securing a career in the legal services sector is largely determined by the opportunities  parents are able to provide for individuals when they are growing up and an understanding of the pathways individuals need to pursue to be accepted into the profession.   To address the challenge of social mobility in the legal services sector we have developed a one-week work experience programme during the summer holidays for Year 12 and 13 students. 

Supporting social mobility

Since 2011 we have been founding members of PRIME, an alliance of law firms and legal departments across the UK which have committed to widening access to the legal profession to talent from a more diverse spread of our population.   We offer work experience opportunities to sixth form students from less privileged and diverse backgrounds, in order to:

  • Provide them with an insight to the legal services sector and access to legal professionals.
  • Embed transferable skills they will require in the professional world. 
  • Enable us to secure a wider range of skills and experiences for our sector.
  • Avoid a potential loss of future talent due to a lack of advantage in their earlier years. 

PRIME commits its member firms to providing high-quality work experience to successful applicants as a way of giving them an insight into the range of careers available in the legal profession, as well as the potential routes into those careers, to boost their career opportunities.

Delivering for students

We have developed partnerships with Mossbourne Community Academy, City & Islington College, Newham Collegiate Sixth Form, The Sutton Trust and the Social Mobility Foundation to provide students in Years 12 and 13 the opportunity to apply to our work experience programme if they meet the following criteria:

  • Have attended a non-fee paying school
  • Do not have a parent who attended University
  • Have been eligible for free school meals

Through a combination of work shadowing and mentoring alongside interactive training workshops, we offer students access to legal professionals and a week within a corporate environment that might otherwise be unattainable.  Our programme is a valuable intervention  helping students to begin developing their professional network and gain an insight in to the pathway towards a career in legal service.  

Priming young people for the future.

Students have access to a mentor who they will work shadow in addition to participating in a mix of skills development workshops, case studies and networking activities. The aim is to help students gain a better understanding of how law firms work alongside personal development training.  Our workshop content includes:

  • CV Surgery & Transferable Skills
  • Personal Branding & Networking
  • Team Working & Problem Solving
  • Legal Case Studies & Negotiation
  • Graduate Recruitment & Pathways into Law
  • Business Style Presentation
  • Confidence & Resilience

The last day of the programme focuses on planning and next steps: students are encouraged to write a summer development plan with some short-term objectives to complete over the remaining summer holidays. 

Access for our alumni

Because it is important to us to build long-term relationships with the students, we launched an alumni programme so that students  receive relevant news updates on opportunities here and, in turn, keep us updated on what they are doing. 

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