Wider access to the legal profession at the heart of shortlisted programme
LONDON, 20 September 2017 – LexisNexis, a leading provider of content and technology solutions, has pledged its continued support of a UK diversity programme that has been shortlisted for a new award.
The global company backs the Legal Social Mobility Partnership (LSMP), which aims to widen access to the legal profession, and has been named a finalist in the Innovation category of the inaugural UK Social Mobility Awards.
The LSMP programme is a collaboration of more than 70 world-leading law firms, in-house teams, commercial organisations and professional sports clubs that works with schools and colleges to allow students from non-privileged backgrounds to gain an understanding of the legal profession in the context of business.
It takes the form of a week of training and work experience in both law and personal development, supported by a dedicated website and virtual coaching. The programme, which has benefited more than 300 students, began in London in 2014 and now operates in seven UK cities, with plans to expand further.
LexisNexis is fully committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion and supports LSMP through the provision of leadership, training and venues.
Head of LexisPSL and LSMP steering committee member, Sophie Gould, recently led the launch of a new "cluster" in Brighton, with partners Southern Water, American Express, Virgin Atlantic and ITV.
She said: "While it is tempting for organisations to support diversity in a tick-box way, LexisNexis is keen to go much further, looking at different ways to make a real difference to the next generation of lawyers.
"This superbly innovative programme has seen a wide range of organisations pull together in partnership and open up the legal profession to more than 300 young people already.
"LSMP is perfectly in tune with the LexisNexis "Rule of Law" global commitment to advance the rule of law around the world – which is why we have no hesitation in giving the programme our full and ongoing support."
Shama Aktar is studying law at City University after taking part in the programme in 2015, which included work experience with law firm Slaughter and May. She said: "LSMP is a great programme and a fantastic opportunity for young individuals who aspire to work in the legal profession. It has had a big impact on my life and is something I will always refer back to."
Nick Ward, North London director at education charity Teach First, said: "In the UK, young people from low-income backgrounds are half as likely to take part in work experience compared to those from wealthier backgrounds. This programme has helped raise the aspirations of our pupils whilst equipping them with the knowledge and skills required to secure a place on their chosen path post school.”
The winners of the UK Social Mobility awards are due to be announced on October 12th at the London Marriott Hotel.
About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information and analytics that help professional customers make more informed decisions, increase productivity and serve their clients better. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. Today, LexisNexis Legal & Professional harnesses leading-edge technology and world-class content to help professionals work in faster, easier and more effective ways. Through close collaboration with its customers, the company ensures organizations can leverage its solutions to reduce risk, improve productivity, increase profitability and grow their business. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 175 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.
The Legal Social Mobility Partnership (LSMP) began in London with 20 students in 2014 to broaden access to the legal profession and develop students’ career aspirations.
It extended to Greater Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham in 2016, bringing student numbers up to 210 and participating organisations rising to over 50.
New clusters have launched in 2017 in Bristol, Brighton and Reading, bringing the total numbers of LSMP students and participating organisations to over 300 and 70 respectively as a result.
In a 2016 survey of LSMP students:
- 94% said they would definitely recommend it to other students
- they gave the programme a score of 3.6 out of 4 when asked how useful the programme was for job interview preparation and building workplace skills
- reported a significant increase in their understanding of the profession. When asked about how they rated their understanding of legal careers, 42% gave a rating of ‘high’ or ‘very high’ before the programme compared to 95% after.
For more information, visit http://www.legalsocialmobilitypartnership.com/
About the UK Social Mobility Awards
The UK Social Mobility Awards are a new and unique set of awards that have been specifically established to recognise and encourage action that will promote and increase social mobility within Britain’s companies and institutions. These inaugural awards will recognise best practice and innovation and celebrate excellence and achievement and start a new chapter in the elevation of social mobility as a cause equal to the level of other diversity issues.
The winners will be announced at a gala dinner which will be held at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square at 6.30pm on 12th October 2017.
Also the winning entries will feature in a best practice case studies report that will be compiled by the Centre for Social Investigation, Nuffield College, Oxford.
For more information, visit http://the-uksma.org/
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