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Browne Jacobson launches REACH mentoring scheme to empower black aspiring lawyers

Browne Jacobson launches REACH mentoring scheme to empower black aspiring lawyers


Browne Jacobson's REACH mentoring program aims to address the under-representation of Black lawyers by fostering talent and inclusivity

Browne Jacobson, a leading UK and Ireland law firm, has officially launched its REACH (Race, Equality, and Cultural Heritage) mentoring scheme, aimed at supporting aspiring Black lawyers in their journey towards a legal career. The program, following a successful two-year pilot, offers mentorship and work experience opportunities to address the stark under-representation of Black professionals within the legal sector.

REACH endeavours to tackle the systemic barriers hindering Black individuals from pursuing legal careers by fostering a sustainable pipeline of talent. Twenty students aged 16 and over will embark on a six-month mentoring journey, paired with mentors from Browne Jacobson or its partners. Mentors will provide guidance, share insights, and offer work experience placements to provide participants with a first-hand understanding of the legal profession.

Bridget Tatham, Partner at Browne Jacobson and REACH program sponsor, emphasises the firm's commitment to fostering inclusivity and diversity within the legal profession. The initiative aims to provide a level playing field for aspiring Black lawyers, equipping them with the tools and opportunities needed to thrive in their legal careers.

By partnering with universities and sixth form colleges, Browne Jacobson identifies under-represented students and offers program places to those most in need of opportunity. The success of the pilot program is evident, with an increase in the proportion of Black trainees at Browne Jacobson from none in 2016 to 31% in 2023 and 29% in 2024.

Oliver Holmes, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Browne Jacobson, underscores the firm's dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), highlighting the importance of fostering a diverse talent pipeline. The firm has implemented impactful changes to recruitment processes, including anonymising applications and deploying contextualised recruitment systems, to create a fairer playing field for all candidates.

REACH represents the latest DEI initiative by Browne Jacobson, aligning with its core values and commitment to making a positive impact on society's biggest issues. The firm's FAIRE scheme, offering work experience opportunities to candidates from lower socio-economic backgrounds, further demonstrates its dedication to fostering inclusivity and social mobility within the legal profession.

Browne Jacobson's REACH mentoring scheme stands as a beacon of hope for aspiring Black lawyers, providing them with the support, guidance, and opportunities needed to embark on successful legal careers and contribute to a more diverse and inclusive legal sector.