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Our stance on GCSEs, A-Levels and university qualifications

Published: 20th August 2020
Area: Firm News

Our stance on GCSEs, A-Levels and university qualifications

This week has been hugely challenging for hundreds of thousands of students across the UK. Pandemic or no pandemic the grade you receive at the end of the school year can offer great relief and joy, or feel like the end of the world.

For a number of years we’ve been asking applicants for our training contracts to have a 2.1 degree (unless mitigating circumstances) in any subject from any university; in fact 1 in 5 of our 2022 applicants had non-law degrees. Unlike many law firms, we don’t have a minimum requirement for UCAS points, specific A-Level or GCSE results.

But this doesn’t mean we don’t have high standards.

What is most important to us is the qualities shown outside of the classroom. We want positive, passionate people, who demonstrate the aptitude and attitude to do great things in their careers. We want people who can show us that they have the will and skill to help us and our clients unlock potential. We ask them to demonstrate bravery, authenticity and engrained collaboration mind-set.

Earlier this year we signed the social mobility pledge and were already reviewing our training contract assessment process - well before the pandemic. Recent events have only compounded our belief that making our training contracts even more accessible to those who demonstrate the right qualities and potential is the right thing to do.

We also strongly value the brilliant minds already within our business and offer a range of alternative routes to a legal career with us that suits the individual, from training contracts and CILEx to our Shakespeare Martineau Academy. However, we’re always challenging ourselves to do better and this will evolve and expand.

We’re currently reviewing all the entry routes into a career with us and are setting our sights on becoming a leading example of diversity and inclusivity and a place for people to thrive.

I whole-heartedly welcome what appears to be an industry-wide step change to improving accessibility and inclusivity and look forward to the exciting opportunity this holds for the legal professionals of the future and the sector as a whole.

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