PRIME is the legal profession’s commitment to ensuring fair access to work experience for students from less privileged backgrounds or those who don’t have the right contacts to call upon. Together with 21 other law firms, Pinsent Masons co-founded PRIME in 2011 to give over 750 students each year the opportunity to undertake a structured week long placement.
The students had to meet certain qualifying criteria such as being at a state school, being the first generation in their immediate family to attend university and being eligible for free school meals. By continuing our relationship with Pathways to Law, we were delighted to host 34 students over the Easter holidays where the students undertook group exercises, job shadowing and attended seminars and presentations on various aspects of commercial law.
There was even a Pinsent Masons quiz (together with prize) to keep the students on their toes. The NFER (National Foundation for Educational Research) were commissioned to undertake an evaluation of PRIME on behalf of the founding firms and late last year published a report on their findings. We were pleased that all 34 of our students who undertook a placement at Pinsent Masons met the PRIME criteria. It was noted that the students had all gained a valuable insight into the legal profession, especially through contributing to real tasks or shadowing members of staff.
Their confidence in a range of skills increased by the end of the placement and all said they had gained a better understanding of the legal profession. In fact, 80% of our students said that the placement had made them even more determined to pursue a career in commercial law. In addition to PRIME, Pinsent Masons continues to operate its award winning School Work Experience programme for all students aged between 16 and 18 who are studying their AS or A-Levels (or equivalent).
Last year we hosted over 190 students across our UK offices making this one of the largest structured school programmes in the UK.
Every summer, Pinsent Masons and Birmingham Law School welcome a group of first year students to our Birmingham office for an exclusive work experience programme. The participants spend 1 week in their dedicated department gaining hands-on experience, a chance to network with our lawyers and an opportunity to see what working in a commercial law firm is like.
We are Josiah Senu, Amelia Rawlinson, Edward Plaut, Katie Nicholas & Alice Cutler and we participated in the Pinsent Masons Work Experience Programme in London from 22-26 August 2016.
Quite simply extraordinary – that was the instant feeling I got when I first entered Pinsent Masons, and by Friday I was wishing for one more week.