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UON joins pioneering project to increase access to careers in the legal sector

Date 15.02.2021

Former Education Secretary Justine Greening is working with University of Northampton and City of London Law Society (CLLS) member firms to increase access to careers in the legal sector.   The partnership between Justine Greening and universities and law firms will include the development of an Opportunity Action Plan to level up Britain in the wake of COVID-19.

It will also see universities working closely with a number of City firms, including Eversheds Sutherland, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Ashurst LLP to create new and wider pathways from higher education into the legal sector.

Rotherham-born Ms Greening herself benefited from social mobility, becoming the first Secretary of State for Education to have gone to a comprehensive school and local FE college.

She co-founded the national Social Mobility Pledge in 2018 alongside UK entrepreneur and philanthropist, David Harrison, to tackle Britain’s widespread lack of social mobility.

By signing the Pledge, businesses and universities commit to enhancing opportunities by working with local schools; offering training and apprenticeships; and by adopting fair recruitment policies.

More than 500 organisations representing over seven million people have signed the Social Mobility Pledge. This includes over 60 universities with more than two million students represented.

Justine Greening said: “Many young people are seeing their life prospects drastically downgraded, with jobs and job offers disappearing. Meanwhile, massive demand for reskilling and career shifting support is building up.

“Well defined purpose together with a strong culture and leadership have marked out those organisations which have taken the right decisions in response to the crisis, from those which have not. The challenge now, and one that CLLS member firms have stepped up to, is for Britain’s businesses and universities to play their role in boosting opportunity and social mobility as part of our national recovery.

“I’m looking forward to working with CLLS members and partner Universities on the Levelling Up Law Action Plan. They are committed to making a difference and levelling up Britain. I hope many others will follow their example.”

Karen Jones, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Northampton said: “At the University of Northampton providing opportunity and support for a diverse range of people to study and ultimately practice Law is at the very heart of what we do.  We are proud to be part of the Levelling Up Law Action Plan, and we look forward to the opportunity to further support our students to achieve their potential, and to work with law practices to develop their student and graduate opportunities.”