London — Mayer Brown has become a founding member of a new social mobility charity, the Aspiring Solicitors Foundation (AS Foundation). The AS Foundation was established by Chris White, the founder of Aspiring Solicitors, which is one of the leading UK organizations dedicated to increasing diversity in the legal profession. The AS Foundation and Aspiring Solicitors are separate organizations with different registrations and governance structures.
In recognition of the financial hardship facing many students from low income families, the AS Foundation will provide grants between £25 and £500 to assist eligible applicants who require assistance in pursuing a legal career. The grants will fund costs for laptops, study resources, travel and clothing for interviews/open days/vacation schemes. The AS Foundation announced today that it will begin accepting grant applications in January 2020.
Mayer Brown’s support builds on the firm’s ongoing collaboration with Aspiring Solicitors. The firm has been an affiliate member of Aspiring Solicitors since 2015 and in 2019 71 percent of Mayer Brown's London training contract offers to vacation scheme participants went to members of Aspiring Solicitors. As a founding member of the AS Foundation Mayer Brown will build on its ongoing work to promote greater social mobility and diversity within the firm.
Sally Davies, London senior partner at Mayer Brown, said: “The AS Foundation has our full support. We actively engage with schools, universities, students and a range of partnership organizations to make our career opportunities more accessible to under-represented groups. This work is vital. However if students are prevented from attending open days, work experience or vacation schemes because they cannot afford to, the sector will not be able to tap into this talent pipeline. The AS Foundation grants will remove some of this financial burden for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds considering a career in law. We are delighted to be part of such a fantastic charity and we look forward to continuing our work with this inspirational organization.”
Chris White, Founder and Chair of Trustees as the AS Foundation, said: "We are proud to have Mayer Brown as a founder of the AS Foundation — we believe this is the social mobility charity for law firms and salute the leadership that Mayer Brown continues to demonstrate in this area.
Our ambition at the AS Foundation is to remove the financial barriers that bright, ambitious, and energized young people can face when considering a career in law. By assisting young people in their ambitions, we aim not only to help them realize long-held career ambitions, but also to rejuvenate the workforce of law firms across England and Wales and make social mobility within the legal profession a reality.”