Law firm Gowling WLG has teamed up with the University of Birmingham to launch a new bursary scheme to invest in black undergraduates wishing to train as solicitors.
The Birmingham-based firm’s charitable trust has developed the new Black Talent in Law Bursary scheme which is designed to support better access to the legal profession for black students.
Gowling WLG said this demographic was under-represented in corporate law firms including itself.
The trust, which is a registered charity funded by donations from the firm’s partners, will support the studies and future careers of black students at the University of Birmingham’s Birmingham Law School on its campus in Edgbaston.
Students on the programme will be provided with work placement opportunities at Gowling WLG, ongoing mentoring from its lawyers and also paid financial contributions in their second and final year of their studies at university.
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Three students will be the first to enrol on the scheme in September.
Paul McConnell, head of careers and employability at Birmingham Law School, said: “The school is strongly committed to supporting the future careers of our students and also enhancing diversity within the legal profession.
“The bursary will make a real difference for our students, providing both invaluable career development opportunities and also financial support for their studies.”
Andy Stylianou, UK chairman of Gowling WLG and the firm’s lead on diversity and inclusion, added: “The scheme will offer the students a fantastic opportunity to gain invaluable experience working within a busy international law firm while completing their studies and to be financially supported along the way.
“Black lawyers are under-represented in corporate law firms and we are committed to doing our part to address this and to promote the progression of black students to careers at our firm and the legal profession more widely.
“We look forward to working closely with Birmingham Law School to offer a rounded experience for all the students taking part in the scheme and welcoming the future lawyers joining us to develop their experience of a career in law.”