ITV and Amazon-backed social mobility venture expands to Leeds and Birmingham

A initiative set up by in-house and private practice lawyers to help drive social mobility in the legal sector has expanded its coverage to include Leeds and Birmingham.

The Legal Social Mobility Partnership (LSMP) – a joint enterprise between a number of leading law firms and in-house departments offering work experience to sixth-formers – will now provide opportunities to more than 200 students across 40 participating law firms and corporates in London, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester.

Originally the brainchild of ITV, the LSMP was launched in 2014 using the broadcaster’s relationship with Slaughter and May. At that time, 20 students went through the programme.

The initiative, which gives students a two-week work placement split between law firms and in-house teams, has now brought on board companies including Adidas, Amazon, Saatchi & Saatchi, BT and Barclays, as well as law firms such as Ashurst, Berwin Leighton Paisner and White & Case.

Its aim is to provide opportunities to sixth-formers who would otherwise not get exposure to the corporate environment, as well as coaching them in areas such as interview techniques and CV clinics.

A number of sporting institutions such as England Rugby and Harlequins are also involved, with professional sports coaches providing expertise around leadership, teamworking and resilience.

The LSMP additionally runs an alumni programme, allowing former programme attendees to keep in touch and attend events run by the participating organisations.

PRIME, the law firm work experience initiative, was recently criticised in a report by the National Foundation for Education Research that argued the organisation failed to provide ongoing support to students once their work placement had ended.