In August of this year, our offices in London and Leeds hosted work experience students as part of our programme in partnership with The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF). Stewarts prides itself on its strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and affording opportunities to anyone regardless of their background or connections.
The ten students were aged 16-17 years old and are members of The SMF’s Aspiring Professionals Programme, designed to offer young people from disadvantaged backgrounds support in their career aspirations, by providing experience and connections in professional sectors including the law.
Registering with the Aspiring Professionals Programme has given the students the opportunity to secure mentorship and work experience, without having a pre-existing network of contacts within the legal sector that many from more privileged backgrounds may have. This was Stewarts’ first year of working with the Social Mobility Foundation.
The aim of the placement week was to provide insight into life at a large law firm, and offer detail in how to gain employment within the legal sector. Each of the students had expressed a desire to enter the legal sector and we wanted to make sure the week was both interesting and worthwhile for them.
The work experience week
The week-long timetable involved a number of activities, including:
- Departmental presentations
- Work shadowing and completing legal tasks assigned by the mentors
- Workshops on the legal system, how to become a lawyer, presentation skills and building a CV
At the end of the week the students delivered a group presentation to their mentors. They also enjoyed tours of the Royal Courts of Justice, the Inns of Court and, in Leeds, a visit to the Magistrates Court.
Our Work Experience Committee is chaired by Head of Employment Joseph Lappin and supported by the HR team. This year’s mentors included Ben Townsend, Charlie Thompson, Fiona Porter, Frank Pinch, Lisa Vanderheide, Matthew Tighe, Nichola Fosler, Sarah Stewart and Zara Okereafor.
More about The Social Mobility Foundation
Founded in 2005, the SMF provides support networks for 16-17 year olds who are unable to receive the necessary help from their school or family. As well as law, the other career sectors covered by SMF include accountancy, architecture, banking & finance, biology and chemistry, business, digital, engineering and physics, media and communications, medicine, and politics.
“We aim to give young people a real insight into top professions and to provide them with the skills needed to achieve their aspirations,” the SMF says. Its four ‘pillars’ of support include:
- Mentoring by a professional via email
- Tailored skills sessions and career workshops
- University application support and guidance
- Internships with top employers
The SMF is a registered charity and welcomes individual volunteers as well as organisations to provide career help. You can find out more here.
We encourage our people to strive for excellence in everything they do. Our culture promotes a good work/life balance and supports the career progression of our staff.
We’ve highlighted some of the careers of our people, outlining the diverse paths they have taken to get where they are today.
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At Stewarts, we aim to recruit and retain the best people at all levels of the firm. The ability, dedication and technical excellence of our people are critical to the successes we achieve for our clients.
If you are interested in working for Stewarts our Careers section provides further details of our recruitment process and current opportunities.
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