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Guardian angel

Lawyers can do much more than just provide legal advice. Scarlett West reports on taking students at a local school under her wing

1 September 2008

As a trainee it is always positive to get involved with initiatives that have your firm’s backing. My firm provides loads of opportunities to get involved with community pro bono and voluntary work, and their work with Hackney schools is very popular with trainees.

Building bridges

The Hackney Schools Mentoring Scheme links 14- and 15-year-olds in Hackney with adults working across the city. At CMS Cameron McKenna trainees are given a presentation on all voluntary and pro bono opportunities in their first few weeks and the Hackney schools scheme is on the map right from the word go.

Students are matched either one-to-one with mentors or are put into small groups. Meeting arrangements are flexible, but the aim is for students to travel to the firm’s offices for an hour or two once a fortnight.

Mentors receive initial training but the real direction for meetings comes from the students themselves. The scheme is open to year 10 pupils in Ha...

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