DIVERSITY ACCESS SCHEME – THE LAW SOCIETY

WHAT IS IT?

 

Through the DAS, the Law Society is able to support talented, aspiring solicitors to pursue their legal education and careers through:

  • Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) scholarships

  • mentoring

  • work experience

LPC/SQE APPLICATIONS

WHEN CAN YOU APPLY?

The 2022 application period is NOW open from 23 February to 20 April 2022.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS?

1.1 Financial criteria

Applicants will be required to confirm the following statements:

a. They do not have access to familial loans or financial gifts

b. They do not have more than £5,000 in their savings account, current account, ISA or

held elsewhere.

1.2 Background

Applicants will be required to confirm two or more of the following statements:

a. They attended a non-fee paying school

b. They are part of the first generation of their family to attend higher education

c. They were eligible for free school meals whilst at school.

 

AND applicants that do not fulfil the above criteria, may still be eligible to apply to the DAS if they face, or have faced, exceptional circumstances in pursuing their legal education or career.

Exceptional circumstances If an applicant does not fulfil the criteria under 1.1 and 1.2 they may still be eligible to apply for the DAS if they have faced or will face exceptional circumstances to pursue their studies and career ambitions as a result of their:

  • Cultural background

  • Health problems

  • Disability

  • Sex

  • Gender identity

  • Sexuality

  • Race

  • Religion

  • Or other challenging personal circumstances

EXAMPLES OF SUCH:

  • Coming from a family where women were not encouraged/allowed to pursue their education or career

  • Travelling alone from a warzone or oppressive regime to the UK, without knowing anyone in the country

  • Being disabled or having a chronic health condition, for example dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression or cancer; or caring for a disabled person.

  • Having grown up in a house where domestic violence was a regular occurrence and having had to move home and schools and suffer educational and personal disruption as a result.

  • Family estrangement

WHAT DOES THE SCHEME FUND?

The scheme is only open to students undertaking the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or the LPC combined with LLM, Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) assessments and SQE preparation courses or SQE preparation courses combined with LLM.

The Law Society does not provide any funding for the law degree, PGDL, CPE, LLM as a standalone course or any other courses.

 

WHEN IS THE INTERVIEW?

INTERVIEW STAGE

1 If shortlisted, you must be available to attend your scheduled assessment and interview (lasting around 30 minutes) with the judging panel via Microsoft Teams between 14 - 16 July 2022.

You will be required to provide contact details for two referees on the application form but should not send references themselves at any stage.

At least one of your referees should be for an academic or professional contact, such as a teacher or employer, who can confirm that you possess the characteristics and attributes of a solicitor, including:

  • honesty

  • integrity

  • the ability to solve problems and present clearly

  • a wish to serve the wider community

 

WHEN DO YOU FIND OUT IF YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL?

Monday 25 July 2022 – 5PM

WHEN DO YOU HAVE TO START THE LPC/SQE?

Courses starting in September 2022 or January/February 2023, either on a part time or full time basis.

THE APPLICATION PROCESS

  1. 23 February Applications open at midday: application form and guidance will be available from the Law Society website

 

  1. 20 April Applications close at midnight

 

  1. End of June All applicants advised whether they have been shortlisted

 

  1. 14 - 16 July Interviews with shortlisted applicants via Microsoft Teams

 

  1. 25 July All shortlisted applicants advised whether they have been successful

 

  1. 1 September Feedback will be provided to unsuccessful shortlisted applicants upon request.

 

If you have any more questions about the scheme, please contact Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Representative Eve Burns at eve.burns@Weightmans.com or via the Merseyside Junior Lawyers Division website or social medias.

More information can be found at: https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/campaigns/diversity-access-scheme