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Last chance to apply for our inclusive work experience scheme

04 March 2024

Are you, or a young person you know, interested in a career in law? There is less than one month left to apply for our inclusive work experience scheme, launched as part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and to supporting emerging young talent in the sector.

Our business immigration and employment lawyer, Hayley Ainsworth coordinates the scheme, and here she shares the details on why and how to apply.

What makes Willans’ work experience scheme different?

Like all work experience, we’re offering students the chance to spend a week at our offices (in July 2024), getting a feel for what it’s like to work in the legal sector. However, our scheme goes beyond that, in that we’re offering the opportunity specifically to young people from less privileged backgrounds.

Some students may think they don’t fit the usual “mould” of someone who works in law and that their circumstances would hold them back; our inclusive work experience scheme is about breaking down those invisible barriers and giving opportunity to those who may not otherwise have it.

What inspired the scheme?

As a firm, we’re particularly invested in our local community and in supporting the next generation of legal talent to reach their full potential. Several of our employees, for example, started as secretaries and have worked their way up to be fully qualified solicitors.

For the past two years our charity committee has also been fundraising for Young Gloucestershire – a charity that supports students and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The work experience scheme is another way of giving back to our community.

Who can apply?

We’re looking for passionate year 10 and 12 students from local Gloucestershire schools who come from less privileged backgrounds. Specifically, applicants should meet one of the following criteria:

  • either be eligible or have been eligible for free school meals throughout their school career
  • be of the first generation in their immediate family to go to university
  • be in the care of their local authority or in foster care

We’ll also consider two recommended applicants per school year group, per school, who don’t fit the criteria but whose school believes would benefit from the experience.

What will work experience candidates get involved in?

Students will spend time in different legal departments, assisting our teams, undertaking research and joining client calls and meetings. They’ll also get the chance to experience work in other teams within the business, such as finance and marketing.

Will this experience help students with other skills needed in the world of work?

Yes. Throughout the week they’re with us, students will have the chance to develop practical skills in delivering presentations, interviews and C.V writing.

When is the application deadline?

Students can apply until Friday 22 March by downloading this application form and once completed, handing it in to their school for submission.

For any queries on the scheme, please get in touch with us.

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