Law Society awards coveted scholarships to aspiring solicitors
The Diversity Access Scheme has helped kickstart the careers of more than 250 aspiring solicitors
Fifteen talented aspiring solicitors have been awarded a sought-after scholarship by the Law Society’s Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) to support them in achieving qualification.
The DAS aims to improve social mobility in the profession by supporting those who face exceptional social, educational, financial or personal obstacles to become solicitors. To date, the scheme has helped more than 250 aspiring solicitors kickstart their legal careers.
Law Society president, I. Stephanie Boyce, said: “We are thrilled to welcome 15 new students onto the Diversity Access Scheme and support them to become solicitors. I am grateful to our sponsors, the Law Society Legal Educational Trust, and others who have made this all possible.
“The 2022 cohort will be the second DAS cohort to undertake the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) and the Legal Practice Course (LPC), as we are currently transitioning from the current system to the SQE”.
Boyce said she hugely admired the DAS awardees’ achievements in the face of great challenges. She added: “I know first-hand how hard it can be to break into the profession. Schemes like DAS do so much good to provide financial relief, open doors to prospective employers and enable aspiring solicitors to pursue their chosen career.
“I encourage any aspiring solicitor who is facing particular challenges on their way to qualification to consider applying for a place on the Diversity Access Scheme in future years.”
Peter Liver, chief operations director of one of its new sponsors, the College of Legal Practice, said: “As part of a not-for-profit legal education group, with driving accessibility at the heart of our mission, the College of Legal Practice are very pleased to join the Law Society’s Diversity Access Scheme.
“We have two very promising students who have joined us through the scheme so far, and we are looking forward to supporting them with their SQE journey. We recognise this is just the beginning, and they will have dedicated tutors and student services support every step of the way.
“This initiative is just one of many ways in which the College is supporting aspiring legal professionals, who may not otherwise be able to realise their career goals to become a solicitor.”
One of the 2022 DAS awardees, Nafisa Julia, said: “The DAS scholarship has provided me with the final stepping-stone I need to achieve my aspirations of becoming an immigration solicitor.
“I’ve faced several obstacles in life, including my father passing away when I was young; experiencing extreme domestic violence and balancing my employment and academic commitments with being a primary carer for my mother. Receiving the scholarship restored my faith in the fact that hard work pays off.”
New firms and legal businesses to sponsor the Diversity Access Scheme this year were: Fisher Jones Greenwood; QLTS School; The College of Legal Practice; and Squire Patton Boggs.
Existing, longstanding sponsors include: Withers; Kingsley Napley; Sackers; UBS; NatWest Legal; BPP University; The University of Law; Westminster University; Nottingham Trent University; Hogan Lovells; Law Society Legal Educational Trust; and DLA Piper also made a donation.
Applications for the next cohort of Diversity Access Scheme awards will open again in February 2023.