In the report released today, The Social Mobility Foundation has named DWF as one of the top 25 businesses in its annual Social Mobility Employer Index, where the business was commended for its work with young people, routes into employment, and advocacy at board level.
Louise Rogerson, Chief People Officer, said: "We're incredibly proud to once again be included in the Social Mobility Employer Index. We continually strive to create an environment that provides equal opportunities for advancement for all of our candidates and colleagues to fulfil their potential."
As part of its commitment to promoting social mobility, in 2022 DWF developed its Ethnic Minority Programme to provide individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds with mentoring and skills sessions ahead of a paid work experience scheme and ultimately, to increase representation of people from ethnic minority backgrounds in the legal sector.
After the completion of the five month scheme, which saw six participants attend skills sessions and receive 1-2-1 mentoring, 100% were offered training contracts with DWF.
Now, a Social Mobility Programme has been introduced alongside the Ethnic Minority Programme to provide opportunities to individuals from diverse backgrounds, and will follow a similar format of completing live legal works, group projects, and attending practice group presentations to build the skills necessary to become a trainee solicitor.
To qualify for the programme, candidates must have been educated in a state school non-selective comprehensive, had free school meals from a state school, or spent more than three months in local authority care. Positions are available in DWF's Birmingham, London and Manchester offices.
Seema Bains, Partner and Head of the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Group at DWF added: "We couldn't have asked for better results following our first year of the Ethnic Minority Programme. That all participants received training contract offers is not only a testament to its success, but more importantly, demonstrates their dedication and value to the legal profession. We look forward to replicating this with the Social Mobility Programme to create a more diverse and inclusive environment for all within the legal sector."