Virtual Learning Experience

Virtual Work Experience

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For us, being diverse is not just the right thing to do – it is also crucial for our continued success. We need graduates who are creative, open-minded and curious.

Creating a diverse, inclusive workplace where everyone can achieve their potential is a priority. Our ambitious five-year diversity commitments and targets are not the end goal. 

Our D&I activities are aligned to six streams:

Social mobility

Social, educational or financial background – or a lack of connections –  should never be a barrier to success. To that end, we have partnered with the Social Mobility Foundation to create a programme to promote social mobility and racial equality in professional careers. We've also been recognised as a top 20 employer in the 2020 Social Mobility Employer Index

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During the recruitment process, we partner with organisations such as Rare RecruitmentAspiring Solicitors and MyPlus Consulting. (For further information, visit Freshfields MyPlus Students’ Club.)

 

For example, we use Rare Recruitment’s Contextual Recruitment System, which (among other things) considers a candidates’ exam performance against the average for their school, recognising that getting a B from a less well-performing school may demonstrate just as much hard work and potential as getting an A* from another.

 

Our award-winning Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme addresses the disproportionate under-representation in City institutions of black men from low-income households. Some scholars, including Folarin Odunubi and Panashe Jinga, have gone on to accept training contracts with us.

Race and ethnicity

We have ambitious targets to broaden our representation among different races and ethnicities, and bring in talent from under-represented groups.

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Our global Black Affinity Network (BAN) brings together lawyers of black African and black African Caribbean heritage from across the firm. In 2020, we launched BANbassadors – a group of our lawyers who have identified themselves as allies.

 

Our award-winning Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme addresses the disproportionate under-representation in City institutions of black men from low-income households. Some scholars, including Folarin Odunubi and Panashe Jinga, have gone on to accept training contracts with us. 

Gender

Ensuring we have a gender balance across our partnership is a priority. A number of initiatives are helping us create a pipeline of female talent and helping them reach their potential.

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Our 12-month global sponsorship programme is a tailored learning and development opportunity for female lawyers. A sponsoring partner and coaching sessions help women on the programme build the skills needed to reach their full potential.

 

The EDGE Commitment, developed by our London Women’s Network in collaboration with colleagues across the firm, promotes gender equality through empowering everyone to take very practical, everyday actions in to bring incremental, tangible changes to help foster equality. And the Equal Representation in Arbitration (ERA) Pledge, founded by Freshfields partner Sylvia Noury, has over 4,000 signatories from more than 110 countries.

LGBT+

We strive to build a welcoming and positive environment so that everyone – including our LGBT+ employees – is comfortable to bring their whole self to work.

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We sponsor the LGBT Bar’s annual Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair and the LGBT Leaders graduate recruitment event. We also have an active global LGBT+ network, Halo. (Halo Champions is a global network of staff not identifying as LGBT+ but who support and promote LGBT+ equality.)

 

We have a close relationship with Stonewall (including being pro bono partner for its Global Workplace Briefings) and we have contributed to the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global LGBT Rights and hosted the launch of the report in our London office. 

Disability and inclusion

Committed to being a disability-inclusive employer, if you require any adjustments to support your application, please let us know – we are always happy to help. 

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We partner with Business Disability Forum, which helps organisations become disability smart, and Myplus Consulting, which helps us to be employers of choice for talented students with disabilities.

 

We also host graduate disability-focussed events in partnership with EmployAbility and our Enabled network bring together disabled colleagues and champions to make Freshfields more inclusive. 

Mental health and wellbeing

Our ongoing commitment to creating the right environment to foster open and frank communication underlines the importance placed on mental wellbeing at Freshfields, which forms part of our broader approach to wellbeing at the firm.

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We are driving this conversation at all levels in a number of ways, including (in partnership with Mental Health First Aid England) a fully trained Global Mental Health Support team, equipped with the skills to recognise, support and provide guidance to those who may be experiencing mental health issues.

London-Asia training contract

Our London–Asia training contract can help you build your career and network on both sides of the globe.

Kate Cooper

Kate Cooper, Partner, talks about her interview experience, teamwork and the Olympics.

Twitter | 05 January 2022

Day 12 of 12 Days of Hints & Tips, our holiday gift to you! To apply for our training contract or vacation scheme, visit https://t.co/8MMmbSPha9. Applications close 6 Jan 2022. #Freshfieldsgrads12days https://t.co/kC3zD7WLdp

Twitter | 04 January 2022

Day 11 of 12 Days of Hints & Tips, our holiday gift to you! To apply for our training contract or vacation scheme, visit https://t.co/8MMmbSPha9. Applications close 6 Jan 2022. #Freshfieldsgrads12days https://t.co/e4c0SAQTQn