Young people given a taste of life in a law firm

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Young people were given valuable work experience and insight into life in a legal career when they took part in a scheme run by Oxford law firm Blake Morgan.

Now in its fourth year, Growing Ambitions sees the firm working in partnership with local social housing associations to offer week-long placements to local teenagers during the school summer holiday.

Throughout the week, the young people gain vital work experience and learn more about the world of business, enhancing their future employment prospects.

This year’s scheme involved four participants nominated by Vale of Aylesbury Housing, and two put forward by Cottsway Housing.

During the week, they shadowed trainee solicitors for three mornings of work experience, listened to talks from a barrister and police officer and enjoyed trips to Oxford Brookes University and Oxford Combined Courts.

The participants were also given valuable advice on their CVs, interview techniques and presentation skills.

The scheme is designed to break down some of the barriers to a career in the legal profession but also to give the teenagers experience of office life of non-legal roles such as support staff, HR and marketing.

Blake Morgan employment team partner William Downing, who is in charge of the scheme for the Oxford office, said: “As a top 50 UK law firm with a significant presence in the social housing sector, we are very proud to have introduced the award winning Growing Ambitions programme.

“Now in its fourth year, we continue to work closely with our social housing clients to offer young people aged 16-18 meaningful work experience. The feedback from past students has been excellent with many using the opportunity to help shape their future career paths.”

Growing Ambitions is one of a number of community schemes run by Blake Morgan to help inspire people who are starting out in the world of work. They also include the firm’s work with the PRIME initiative, which offers work experience to young people from less privileged backgrounds, and the charity SPEAR, which offers mentoring to unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds.