Browne Jacobson’s commitment to promoting diversity in the legal sector has been recognised at the Manchester Legal Awards 2017.
The firm’s Manchester office received the Highly Commended award in the Pro Bono / Community Initiative category for its successful mentoring scheme delivered in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University’s Law School.
The mentoring initiative originally piloted in 2016 and aims to provide students with access to dedicated mentoring support from qualified lawyers based in the law firm’s Manchester office.
Mentors support students through their undergraduate studies in law, sharing their own expertise on the subject, and act in a counsellor and career advisor capacity.
The initiative is considered ground-breaking due to it being the first time Manchester Metropolitan University have partnered with an external law firm in this way. After the success of the pilot, the scheme has been extended to support a further seven students.
Lawyers and members of the firm’s Human Resources Team are also delivering advice sessions on the School’s core programme in areas such as commercial awareness, dealing with assessment centres, resilience and legal CVs.
This year’s judging panel was made up of well-respected professionals from the business, legal and academic community, including Edward G.Smethurst, Chairman, Commerce & Industry Group North West; Shelina Begum, Chief Business Reporter at the Manchester Evening News and Ruth Shearn, Managing Director at RMS PR, amongst others.
Manchester partner Nichola Evans, who set up the project in order to support the needs of students in the higher education sector throughout the North West region, commented:
“The quality of the submissions this year led the organisers to introduce a highly commended award this year as well and we are delighted that the initiative has been recognised for the value and reward it offers to young aspiring lawyers in the region.
“Since its launch, the scheme has almost doubled in size, attracting students from broad and diverse backgrounds, which is something that we as a firm are committed to promoting and supporting.
“The scheme has given us the opportunity to work with some very talented young people and I am looking forward to being involved in its continued development.”
In 2017 the firm will move its Manchester office to No.1 Spinningfields. The move will see the firm quadruple its existing office accommodation when it moves into the heart of the award-winning Spinningfields estate in September 2017.