Browne Jacobson re-affirms its commitments to diversifying the legal sector by joining The Law Society’s part-time training initiative
UK and Ireland law firm Browne Jacobson has joined a cross-firm scheme set up by the Law Society of England and Wales’ Disabled Solicitors Network, which will support law firms in offering more part-time training.
Project Rise, which comprises of five UK law firms, was launched in 2021 to help improve access to the profession by offering and promoting more flexible training routes to aspiring lawyers.
Caroline Green who is Senior Partner and leads on diversity, inclusion and well-being at Browne Jacobson said: “We are delighted to join the Project Rise scheme and to offer more flexible training routes for future lawyers.
“As a proud partner of O Shaped, which is modernising legal education and continuous development, we believe that Project Rise will make a real difference to those who want to join the profession. We are passionate about nurturing talent from diverse backgrounds and Project Rise fits perfectly with our approach and values.
“Over recent years we have implemented flexible working practices across our business and have seen first-hand the benefits that come with opening up opportunities to all. Project Rise is great example of the Law Society’s desire to diversify the legal sector and we are proud to support this initiative.”
Law Society President Lubna Shuja added: “Five firms are now part of the scheme and I encourage our members to join the initiative as a way of providing different ways of training to aspiring solicitors.
“Aspiring solicitors who can’t train full-time** due to caring responsibilities or other reasons now have more opportunities to join our valuable profession.
“Project Rise is aiming for part-time training options to be offered across the profession, for traditional training contracts, solicitor apprenticeships and for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE).
“I encourage our members to take part in this valuable scheme so we can welcome more diverse voices into the solicitor profession.”
This initiative follows on from Browne Jacobson’s recent announcement that it had retained its ranking as the UK’s leading employer in the Social Mobility Employer Index 2022, the leading authority on social mobility workplace best practice in the UK. Over the last six years the firm has committed to launching a series of initiatives and partnerships to open up the legal profession for people of all backgrounds, especially those from socially disadvantaged groups and regions across the country including its FAIRE (Fairer Access Into Real Experience) programme in 2021 and becoming an official partner to O Shaped, an innovative movement with a mission to drive positive change within the legal sector.
- The Solicitors Regulation Authority has clarified that if someone works 32 hours over less than five days a week, they can still qualify in two years, as it is classed as ‘full-time.’ The 2014 Education and Training Regulations defined ‘full time’ in relation to a period of recognised training as 32 hours, and ‘part time’ as working fewer than 32 hours.) Two years is the minimum needed to qualify.
- Read the SRA’s Q&A on Qualifying Work Experience and it’s Qualifying Work Experience for Candidates guidance