City Solicitors' Educational Trust (The Trust) was founded by a number of City firms in 1989 as a response to reduced public funding for university education. Historically, the Trust supported the teaching of core level subjects to undergraduates in the UK by helping to fund teaching posts and resources at law faculties which award qualifying law degrees. In this respect, the Trust has made grants to higher educational establishments of over £9 million covering 70 different institutions. In 2007 the Trust, in addition to the grant giving programme, committed to a summer school diversity initiative to encourage applications from students from less privileged backgrounds studying at non-Russell Group universities to consider a career in the law. The summer schools consisted of an intense residential skills-training week held in London for 100 students. Six schools were run between 2008 and 2011.
The Charity now runs two projects:
City Solicitors' Horizons Project
In 2015 CSET commenced an initiative under the banner of City Solicitors' Horizons which is a social mobility initiative aimed at improving access to the legal profession for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Legal Education Foundation provided funding for three years, along with 18 member firms from the City of London Law Society. The project is now entering its third phase of three years recruiting 50 students annually from non-Russell Group universities from around England. Each student is supported by a 3 year programme combining comprehensive classroom and one-to-one training sessions, mentoring from solicitors at City firms and work experience at City firms, alongside their academic studies. Recently a cultural capital initiative has been added the programme to allow access to culture(s) which may be typically inaaccessible to socially mobile candidates.
More information is available at https://www.citysolicitorshorizons.org/
Social Welfare Solicitor Qualification Fund
The SWSQF started as an initiative by the Training Committee of the City of London Law Society, BARBRI (a
legal education provider) and Young Legal Aid Lawyers to provide financial assistance to aspiring solicitors
working in social welfare law for organisations serving disadvantaged communities. Starting in early 2022, the SWSQF is funding students wishing to study Solicitors Qualifying Exam preparation courses and assessments. Currently, 17 law firms and our own Charitable Fund are supporting 22 candidates. We hope to increase this number in future years.
More information is available here: https://www.citysolicitors.org.uk/social-welfare-solicitor-qualification-fund/