We have created a high-performance culture that is inclusive, supportive and which thrives on individuality, personality and team spirit. We expect the best of each other and we want everyone to succeed, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, disability, religious practice or any other perceived difference.
Our diversity programme is represented at the most senior level of our business by our board sponsor. It is run by a dedicated Human Resources (HR) team, partner sponsors and volunteers from across the business. We have organised our approach around three key strands of diversity, focusing on gender, social mobility and ethnicity, but we also provide comprehensive support for parents and carers, run an ongoing mental health and wellbeing awareness campaign, and have a flourishing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) network.
Everyone’s needs are unique. And that means agile working is key. We want to enable a greater work-life balance for everyone, not just those with caring responsibilities.
We have been consistently recognised for our commitment to diversity over the years. In our sector’s 2019 awards season, our diversity programme has achieved the following external recognition:
- The Times, Top 50 Employers for Women;
- HR in Law Awards, Best Health and Wellbeing Initiative (firms with over 750 employees including partners);
- Legal Week Innovation Awards, Mindful Business Charter (recognition) and HR Innovation (winner).
Diversity Access Schemes
We nurture strong links with reputable social mobility schemes and professional diversity networks such as the Black Solicitors Network, Urban Lawyers, the Bright Network, Lawyers in Schools, Pathways to Law, PRIME and TARGETjobs Events and value their support and expertise when reaching out to untapped talent from non-traditional backgrounds.
We are signatories of the Social Mobility Business Compact: a government-led initiative which aims to reduce elitism and improve social mobility by encouraging businesses to open opportunities to everyone.
We have always invested and partnered with local communities, schools and networks who are keen to raise the aspirations of young people – and will continue to do so by offering young talent opportunities to take part in quality work experience programmes and internships.
We are a founding member of PRIME, an initiative through which law firms provide quality work experience placements to underprivileged school-age students. We work with local primary and secondary schools across London, Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh to inspire young people to fulfil their potential. Each year, around 40 students from years 12 and 13 take part in our Legal Access Week Programme.
Social Mobility Business Partnership (SMBP)
We are a member of the SMBP in Manchester and Leeds, where we partner with our own clients and other businesses to meet our respective social mobility commitments. Through this partnership, our Legal Access Week students benefit from additional work experience with in-house legal teams at a number of well-known companies.
Legal Access Scheme
Our award-winning Legal Access Scheme offers bright BPP University Law School students from unconventional or less privileged backgrounds a place on our summer placement programme. 24 students from this scheme have secured training contracts with us since its creation in 2007.
Legal Apprenticeship Scheme
There’s no blueprint for bright. In fact, the opposite is true. That’s why we offer an alternative path into law for those who do not wish to go down the traditional university route.
Our Legal Apprenticeship Scheme, developed in Manchester and Leeds, is at the forefront of apprenticeships in the legal profession.
We have been recognised by the All About Group as a Top 100 Employer for School Leavers.
City Solicitors Horizons
City Solicitors Horizons (CSH) is a social mobility initiative designed to improve access to the legal profession for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. It was created by the City of London Solicitors’ Company, City Solicitors’ Educational Trust (CSET) and The Legal Education Foundation (TLEF), and is supported by the City of London Law Society (CLLS) and leading law firms – including Addleshaw Goddard.
Students attending universities across London and southeast England are selected to take part in this three-year social mobility programme, alongside their undergraduate degrees, connecting with law firms who provide access to mentoring lawyers and practical work experience.