Sixth form students given a taste of legal life
Promising young students were given a taste of life in the legal profession when they took part in a work experience scheme run by Southampton law firm Blake Morgan.
Ten students from Hampshire sixth forms and colleges spent three days of the February half term break at Blake Morgan’s offices at New Kings Court, Chandler’s Ford, taking part in the firm’s Pathways to Law programme.
The programme gives promising young students a clear idea of what it takes to follow a career in law – and the opportunity spend some time in a work environment.
This year’s scheme involved students aged 16 and 17 from Portsmouth, Waterlooville, Christchurch, Ringwood, Southampton and the Isle of Wight who had were chosen after demonstrating their academic potential and ability in the application process.
The programme, run with Southampton University, is particularly aimed at students who have the potential to be the first generation of their family to go to university.
Students were welcomed at the start of the sessions with a speech from Bruce Potter, senior partner and co-chairman of Blake Morgan.
They then took part in two seminar days when they learned about various aspects of a law firm’s work and the skills required for a law career, and one work experience day during which they shadowed a trainee solicitor.
Cathy Pearce, training officer at Blake Morgan, said: “Pathways to Law gives the young people a real feel for what life is like in a law firm and in the world of work.
“For some of them it’s quite an eye-opener – they go away with a realisation that to be a lawyer, you don’t just need to know the law – you need to have a host of other skill sets too.
“This year, as ever, the young people showed enormous potential and maturity. We keep in touch with them – in the past, some have gone on to apply for trainee positions within the firm. We have one former participant who now works at Blake Morgan as a paralegal.”
The Pathways to Law scheme is one of a host of mentoring programmes that Blake Morgan runs at its various offices as part of its Making a Difference corporate responsibility campaign.
The firm is a founder of the PRIME Access to Law scheme, which helps young people from less-privileged backgrounds forge a career in law, and also runs mentoring programmes for university students and a legal apprentice scheme.