Individuals earn the title solicitor through a dedicated commitment to legal education, training and development. They meet high professional and ethical standards, and provide a wide range of advice and services to protect the interests of their clients.
The Law Society Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) aims to improve social mobility in the legal profession by supporting talented people facing exceptional social, educational, financial or personal obstacles to qualification as a solicitor, and who would otherwise be unable to pursue a career in law.
The scheme provides support in four fundamental ways:
- Finance through the provision of Legal Practice Course fees (LPC)
- Professional contacts through invitations to events such as the Excellence Awards
- Assignment to a professional mentor
- Opportunities to gain work experience with DAS sponsors, supporting firms and organisations
DAS has already helped over 180 students complete their professional education. If you don’t have the financial means to pay for your LPC, the DAS might be able to help.
The DAS PLUS award provides assistance with fees for the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and guarantees a training contract at a national Law Centre for the successful applicant. Applicants must either be an employee or volunteer at a national Law Centre for at least six months prior to application.
“Not only has the Diversity Access Scheme given me the funding I needed to complete my LPC, it has also shown that my hard work in extreme circumstances is genuinely valued by the profession. At a time when I had all but given up hope of qualification the award has given me the funding to enable me to begin planning for a career in law.” – Testimonial for the scheme quoted on the Law Society website.
There are some inspiring examples of DAS alumni in this Law Society Gazette article from 2015. One of them has also written a useful blog post on the Law Society website. It includes links to information about eligibility, guidance, and the application form in 2017.
Note that at the time of writing in October 2017, the application process is now closed. The advice is to check back onto the Law Society website in January 2018.