New funding extends legal access programme to Nottingham universities

12 Jul 2013 14:32:57.217
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The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University are teaming up to encourage more students from less privileged backgrounds to study law.

Following the official launch of The Legal Education Foundation (TLEF), formerly The College of Law, the Sutton Trust has confirmed that both Nottingham-based universities will join its Pathways to Law access programme.

Nottingham Law School — part of Nottingham Trent University — and The University of Nottingham are among five institutions that will join the seven existing members of the Pathways programme, to provide 1,200 places over the next four years.
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The programme offers a series of activities to support students through their progression to university and helps them to develop skills and knowledge which are relevant to the legal profession.

An initiative developed by the Sutton Trust and TLEF, it is supported by major law firms, to inspire and support academically-able students in years 12 and 13 (aged 16 to 18) from non-privileged backgrounds interested in a career in law.

It is open to low and middle income state school students, but 66 per cent are from low-performing schools and 29 per cent live in the poorest postcodes. Half of the Pathways students gain places at leading universities.

The 12 universities have been announced following a tender process. TLEF is the largest single funder of Pathways, but a third of delivery costs are met by universities.

It is also financially supported by the Law Society and a number of law firms which provide sponsorship: Allen and Overy, Clifford Chance, DLA Piper, Eversheds, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters and Mayer Brown. In addition, more than 20 other firms also supply invaluable work placements to Pathways students.

Dr Penelope Griffin, Head of Widening Participation at The University of Nottingham, said: “The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University have a long history of working together to encourage progression to higher education. I am delighted to be collaborating on this new project, alongside colleagues from our respective schools of law. We hope that local legal practices and teams will also wish to contribute, through offering short work placements for the young people involved in the scheme.”

Dean of Nottingham Law School, Professor Andrea Nollent, said: “Nottingham Law School is delighted to be able to offer its expertise in delivering this programme to students in the East Midlands area.

“We recognise the importance of supporting social mobility within the legal profession and very much look forward to working with our colleagues at the University of Nottingham School of Law to improve the opportunities for young people locally.”

Phase three of Pathways to Law will bring greater regional coverage for the scheme, which continues to be the biggest access initiative for the legal profession.

Targeting of students will also be tighter and new mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the programme’s impact are being put in place. Recruitment will begin after the summer.

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “We are delighted with the interest we have had in the next phase of Pathways which is a reflection of the great reputation the programme has built up over the last six years. We are pleased to welcome five universities in joining the seven already in the programme.

“Pathways continues to be a great way for the profession to nurture and support talent it would not otherwise reach. We are very grateful to The Legal Education Foundation and the law firms which are supporting this next phase.”

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

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More information is available from Charlotte Anscombe, Media Relations & Campaign Manager, Marketing, Communications & Recruitment, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 748 4417,

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