What is the LSMP?
The LSMP is a collaboration of law firms, their partner clients and commercial organisations* who work together to provide school-aged students from less privileged backgrounds access to a Work Insight and Skills Programme (the “Programme”) with the ultimate aim of broadening access to the legal profession and developing students’ career aspirations. The Programme consists of two weeks’ intensive skills training coupled with work insights; students first spend a week in a private practice law firm and then spend a further week visiting four different in-house teams. A final day is spent with Harlequins or Wigan Warriors to learn the key to resilience and achieving goals from their performance coaches.
Following the success of the inaugural Programme in 2014, the LSMP quintupled in scale in 2015, with 106 students participating, compared to 20 last year and extended its reach from London to include students from Greater Manchester. Participating organisations rose more than twofold, from 14 to 35, increasing the Programme’s scale and providing the students with insight into more sectors.
LSMP builds on the success of PRIME and is unique in its ability to unite the legal sector to tackle the issue of social mobility via an easily replicable model. It provides in-house legal teams who may lack the resource to administer a full work experience programme with a great opportunity to work with their panel firms to contribute to a solution, whilst building relationships across the sector.
The LSMP objectives are:
• Break down barriers: Breaking down both social and psychological barriers to entering the legal profession and tackle the problem of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds counting themselves out of a career in law before even trying;
• Build skills: Developing presenting, interviewing, influencing, resilience and negotiation skills;
• Acquire CV Evidence: Arming students with an experience they can use for their CVs, LinkedIn profiles and personal statements and as a talking point for university and job interviews.
Programme legacy and growth
• Launch of a LinkedIn Alumni group so students have continued assistance with their future careers through the ongoing offer of support with CVs, training contract applications, preparation for university / job interviews and attendance at partner events. Programme graduates will be invited to annual networking events, including two research skills workshops delivered by LexisNexis, a participating organisation. The group will also enable us to track students’ long-term progress and resulting impact.
• Production of an LSMP ‘Format Bible’ – The attached memory stick contains a toolkit with a step-by-step guide to enable you to replicate the programme.
• All three London-based clusters and an enlarged Manchester cluster (in terms of student numbers) will run in 2016. A new cluster will run in Leeds and we are in advanced discussions with firms regarding launching a cluster in Birmingham.
The 2015 end of year report
This year, 106 students from over 30 schools took part in the programme. Of those surveyed before the programme:
• 33% were eligible for school meals;
• 57% did not have any parents or carers who had been to university;
• 54% did not know anyone in the legal profession.
Impact for the Students
What the students we surveyed told us about their experience of LSMP:
• 100% would recommend the programme to other students;
• On average, 95% reported development in presenting, interviewing, influencing, resilience and negotiation skills;
• 94% said they were more motivated to achieve their career goals;
• 87% reported an increase in their understanding of the careers available within the legal profession, with 75% reporting an increase in their understanding of the skills and qualifications needed;
• 71% said it made them more likely to want to enter the legal profession;
• 65% reported their first choice career would be in the legal profession.
Ayo, a student from Harris Academy Crystal Palace said: “I enjoyed going to different businesses and learning about the different legal professions there are in the job, and how the people in the legal profession got to where they are. My highlight was going to Freemantle Media because I was taught interview techniques and skills such as team-work, listening, and self-confidence improved greatly with the tasks that were given to us. The challenges were not too simple or challenging, they were just right.”
Angelica from Westminster Kingsway College, who participated in the 2014 programme said: “I used the experience in my personal statement and it has helped me get all my offers at university. I’m working really hard now to get the grades, and I know the course has made such a difference to believe in myself, be more ambitious and have so much more confidence.”
Impact for the Partners
74% of the businesses surveyed so far reported that LSMP helped strengthen their relationships with their partner firm / in-house team and 64% of businesses reported an increase in senior buy-in to CR initiatives.
* Led by ITV, the Legal Social Mobility Partnership (LSMP) consists of the following organisations: Microsoft, Olswang, Slaughter and May, adidas, Harlequins, Manchester United Foundation, Squire Patton Boggs, English RFU, Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club, The Blair Partnership (JK Rowling’s Agent), Viacom, FremantleMedia, Co-operative bank, BT, Yahoo, Barclays Bank PLC, Nomura, Land Securities, Arnold & Porter, Addleshaw Goddard, Eversheds, DLA Piper, Reed Smith, Bird & Bird, Charles Russell Speechlys, The BBC, Berwin Leighton Paisner, White & Case, Buzzacott, OPP Limited, Kemp Little, Powa Technologies, LexisNexis and Trailblazer Legal Apprenticeships Employers Group.