Social mobility is the ease with which people can fulfil their potential, regardless of their social or educational background.
We believe no one should be prevented from fulfilling their potential because of where they are born, the school they went to or the jobs their parents do. There is increasing evidence to suggest that the legal profession is becoming more exclusive and elitist. For this reason we are keen to promote wider access to the law and we are a signatory to the government's Social Mobility Business Compact, which aims to address elitism and improve social mobility by encouraging businesses to open up opportunities to everyone.
Social Mobility Index Top 75 Employers
We are pleased to have been included on the Social Mobility Foundation's Top 75 Employers for the second year running in recognition of our work to improve social mobility at AG and in the legal sector more widely.
The AG Social Mobility Programme - Our Strategy
We have appointed two Inclusion Partners, David Berry and Anna Heaton, who are passionately committed to driving our social mobility agenda forward in support of our inclusion strategy. The AG Social Mobility Programme will continue to target young talent from non-traditional backgrounds, demonstrating a closer alignment to the ambitions of our CSR Programme which focuses on 'unlocking young potential'.
We will continue to promote wider access to the legal profession, taking practical action through a variety of initiatives:
PRIME & the Legal Access Week Programme
AG is a founder member of PRIME, an initiative where law firms provide a minimum number of quality work experience placements to underprivileged school-age students. We work closely with local schools and colleges across London, Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh to inspire and help young people fulfill their potential. Twice a year, we invite around 35 students from school YR 12-13 (S5/S6 in Scotland) and first year of university to take part in our Legal Access Week. Applications are currently open for our February programme here.
Social Mobility Business Partnership
SMBP is a volunteer led collaboration of over 70 law and accountancy firms, commercial organisations and professional sports teams committed to supporting students from low income backgrounds in their pursuit of a career, in particular, as a legal or finance professional. We are a member of the SMBP, in Manchester and Leeds, working with our clients and other businesses to meet our respective social mobility commitments. As a result, our Legal Access Week students now benefit from an additional week spent with the in-house legal teams at some very well-known companies.
Legal Access Scheme
Our award-winning Legal Access Scheme identifies bright BPP University Law School law students from unconventional or less privileged backgrounds, offering them a place on our summer placement programme. Since its creation, in 2007, 24 participants of the scheme have secured training contracts with us.
Legal Apprenticeship Scheme
We are at the forefront of apprenticeships in the legal profession and have developed two legal apprenticeship schemes in Manchester and Leeds. Our schemes for aspiring Paralegals and Solicitors provide alternative routes into the profession for those who do not want to go down the traditional university route.
The Sonia McMahon Award
In honour of the late Sonia McMahon, Partner the award gives one student from our partner schools a financial contribution towards the cost of studying law at university, access to a mentor and a week of work experience. In 2022, two students each received a bursary of £5,000 in an extension of the award.
The City Solicitors Horizons Programme
The City Solicitors Horizons Programme is a social mobility initiative to improve access to the legal profession for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. It has been initiated by the City of London Solicitors' Company, City Solicitors' Educational Trust (CSET) and The Legal Education Foundation (TLEF), with the support of the City of London Law Society (CLLS) and leading law firms. Students connect with AG and benefit from mentoring and practical work experience.
- PRIME >
- Social Mobility Business Compact >
- SMBP >
- City Solicitors Horizons >
- BPP University Law School >
Our Inclusion Partners are responsible for engaging the business, setting the inclusion strategy and spearheading our efforts in each of their respective areas of inclusion.