Kennedys has launched a virtual work experience programme to ensure that the widest possible pool of would-be lawyers can gain a taste of legal life.
With a proud reputation for innovation, and a commitment to making access to the law available as widely as possible, the new virtual programme allows anyone anywhere to experience life at one of the world’s leading law firms.
Some 2,180 students have already signed up to it, compared to the 120 spots that are usually available for in-person work experience.
The four-module programme offers real work experience as participants complete a variety of tasks to gain legal analytical skills, develop legal knowledge of the insurance industry, and learn critical legal communication, research and drafting skills.
"Students often feel under pressure to buy traditional office clothes which they might not be able to afford or perhaps have to travel long distances to come into the office, which can be overwhelming."
“Instead, students from any school, college or university can undertake real-life tasks that our junior lawyers complete.”
Students will watch videos from four current trainees and apprentices who will ask for their assistance in completing a task. The platform allows for students to interact with virtual clients and colleagues in a way that replicates real-life work experience.
They will be asked to prepare a witness statement (Liability), prepare a PowerPoint presentation for a client pitch (Insurance), leave a voicemail for a client (Healthcare) and undertake a legal research exercise on ‘force majeure’ (Commercial). There are both written and verbal instructions for each task.
After they complete each task, students have access to a model answer to compare theirs against. They will receive a completion certificate at the end, which they can add to their CV and LinkedIn profiles.
Enrolment is open to all students and graduates, from a law or non-law background and no legal experience is required.
Suzanne Liversidge, Managing Partner at Kennedys, says: “I am passionate about the diversity and inclusion agenda and this programme underscores our commitment to drive that forward. We want to make Kennedys accessible to as many people as possible.
“This year has presented many challenges and it became apparent early on that one of them would be running our work experience programme. We could have chosen to not run one this year, but we felt it was important to find a way to ensure that we still provided a programme but via an innovative and different way. Moving from a traditional workplace experience model to an entirely virtual programme provides anyone, anywhere, access to this excellent learning opportunity. All you need is Wi-Fi and we will welcome you into Kennedys for the day.”
In May, Kennedys launched an innovative new training programme ahead of the launch next year of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination. This will see law graduates start working at Kennedys while gaining qualifying legal work experience in one of its teams before sitting the SQE1 and SQE2 exams required to qualify as a solicitor, thus allowing graduates to start earning immediately.
Last year the firm was recognised at the School Leaver Awards, where it won the ‘Best Degree Apprenticeship’ award and is a former two-time winner of the ‘Top Employer in Law’ at the same awards.