Aspiring lawyers from non-privileged homes in the East Midlands will benefit from the expansion of a pioneering initiative brought together by The University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, the Sutton Trust, the Legal Education Foundation and the legal profession.
The programme, designed to widen access to the legal profession, will support around 150 local 14-18 year olds who aspire to a career in law.
For the first time, the programme, which is funded by the Legal Education Foundation and nine leading law firms, will provide support for GCSE students in years 10 and 11, as well as throughout sixth form.
‘A life changing experience’
The new funding builds on the already successful provision of the programme in the East Midlands. Over the last three years, over 100 sixth form students have taken part in the programme, with many of the recent graduates going on to study law at a top university.
Muzammil Malamji, a current year 13 student who will graduate from the Pathways to Law programme in July, and who holds an offer to study law at The University of Nottingham, said “Pathways to Law has been a life changing experience. It has offered opportunities that otherwise would have been impossible.
“I was born in India and brought up in a family where English wasn't our first language. Neither of my parents went to university and we had no contacts in the field of law. The opportunities that Pathways to Law has created are huge. The programme has helped me in numerous ways and allowed me to meet amazing people along the way. Not only has it had an extremely positive impact on my two years at college, but it has played a huge role in shaping my future too.”
‘71 per cent of top QCs are privately educated’
The expansion of the Pathways to Law programme comes after research by the Sutton Trust found that three-quarters of top judges and 71 per cent of top QCs were privately educated – proportions that have decreased only slightly since the 1980s.
Working in partnership The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University are able to support students in developing their career aspirations, providing insight into both the study of law and the professional practice of law.
Nigel White, Professor of International Law and Head of the School of Law, at The University of Nottingham, said: “The School of Law at The University of Nottingham is delighted to be continuing its successful association with Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University, the Sutton Trust and the Legal Education Foundation during the next phase of the Pathways to Law programme. It is a pleasure to help these talented students on take their first steps to a career in law.”
Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “Our research has shown that there is still a big social mobility issue within the legal sector. Greater access to a wider pool of diverse talent will deliver real benefits for employers and employees alike. This is why Pathways to Law is so important. I’m delighted that our partnership with The Legal Education Foundation will enable us to expand the programme and support young people from a younger age and over four years.”
Recruitment for Year 10 and Year 12 pupils will begin in August 2016.
For further information or to arrange an interview, including with students who have been successful on the programme, please contact: Hilary Cornwell or Conor Ryan on 0207 802 1660.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.
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