30 August 2019

PwC gets reward for its legal aspirations

Big 4 firm and its Aspiring Solicitors programme see diversity scheme making a sharp difference in legal recruitment.

Almost half (10 of 24) of the next intake of PwC’s legal training contract roles have been awarded to individuals from minority or disadvantaged groups who came through the Aspiring Solicitors programme

Sharp increase

PwC has seen a sharp increase (261 percent) in the number of graduate applications to its legal summer vacation scheme since partnering with Aspiring Solicitors last year. This year PwC has awarded almost half of its trainee places to members of Aspiring Solicitors, an organisation founded in 2013 to increase access to and diversity in the legal profession. The individuals will attend law school, sponsored by PwC, followed by a two year trainee programme in the business. The professional services firm has also seen a marked increase in the number of graduates applying for their legal summer vacation scheme, which PwC’s recruitment team believes is down to the exposure gained through Pw’s partnership with Aspiring Solicitors. Aspiring Solicitors is a social enterprise that seeks to provide access, opportunity and assistance to students from minority or disadvantaged groups underrepresented in the legal profession. The firm has also provided pro-bono support for Aspiring Solicitors, on issues such as data protection legislation along with branding and marketing support.

Social mobility

Keily Blair, PwC director and sponsor of the pro bono and legal skills volunteering programme, commented, “Limited social mobility is particularly stark in certain professions. Access to opportunities and achieving a legal training contract at a firm like PwC can change someone’s life. People’s backgrounds should not be a barrier to professional advancement and success; we want them to aim high, so we have a five point action plan to help drive change on social mobility across the country. The sharp increase in the number of graduate applicants means we have a much bigger group of diverse candidates from which we can hire. With almost half of our new trainee lawyers coming through the Aspiring Solicitors scheme it’s clear that positive targeted action can result in meaningful change” Chris White, founder of Aspiring Solicitors, commented “We have had amazing results working with PwC. Reimagining the possible is getting the best workforce and PwC’s commitment to reimagining the possible is just getting the best people for the job.” Kate Langley, PwC manager and programme lead, added “We are delighted that our collaboration has achieved such great results in our first year.”