We have developed programmes and initiatives to foster an inclusive work environment, encourage open discussion and raise awareness on diversity issues.
Let's start the conversation
In June 2020 we launched our Let’s start the conversation series, a global initiative to raise awareness and educate on a broad range of topics (such as Asperger syndrome, Black History Month, Mental Health, LBGTQ+ inclusion). Guest speakers discuss and share their experiences while encouraging an open and safe space for individuals to ask questions.
Social mobility and widening access to the legal profession
We work with external organisations and continue to develop a range of opportunities to widen access to the profession, allowing for individuals from a variety of backgrounds to pursue a legal career at Kennedys. For example:
- We were the first law firm in the UK to set up an apprentice scheme. So far we have recruited 90 legal apprentices across our UK offices and currently have 56 UK apprentices.
- Kennedys launched its first virtual work experience programme in 2020. To date over 10,000 individuals from all over the world have accessed our online work experience programme. In 2021 we hosted our first virtual insight day for students to learn more about opportunities at Kennedys.
- In September 2021, Kennedys welcomes its first cohort of trainees via the newly introduced SQE route in the UK. We were one of the first law firms to offer both the traditional trainee route and the SQE route.
- We started using the RARE recruitment tool in our UK trainee application screening process to ensure socially mobile candidates do not get overlooked.
- We partnered with the Careers & Enterprise Company and UpReach in the UK to inspire young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to work in the legal sector. Throughout 2021 we worked to help deliver career support for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Ten Kennedys representatives became upReach mentors.
- In March 2022 we signed a partnership with Aspiring Solicitors, a diversity organisation which works to increase diversity in the legal profession by providing enhanced assistance to underrepresented groups, including black and minority ethnic candidates, candidates with disabilities, LGBT+ candidates and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
- We are part of the Government commissioned socio-economic taskforce which aims to boost socio-economic diversity in UK financial and professional services.
- In 2020 we created a scholarship programme in the US in partnership with St. John’s University to boost diversity in the insurance industry.
- In Australia we work with CareerTrackers to offer internships for Indigenous university students. In November 2021, we welcomed our first intern for a 12 week internship.
- In Singapore we work with polytechnics to offer 12-week internships in business services to students.
For more information about our apprentice scheme, virtual work experience or the different routes into Kennedys please visit our early careers page.
Dive In Festival
We continue to be a global partner of the Dive In Festival – a global movement in the insurance sector to support the development of inclusive workplace cultures. Its mission is to enable people to achieve their potential by raising awareness of the business case and promoting positive action for diversity in all its forms.
We host Women in Business series events. We run internal diversity campaigns to raise awareness. We offer tailored support to our people, for example, our Buddy Scheme aims to support those going on or returning from parental leave. We conduct focus groups, interviews and surveys across all our offices globally to ensure we understand our people’s experiences and the barriers they face. To learn more about what we are doing to advance D&I at Kennedys, please download our Sustainability Report from our corporate social responsibility webpage.
Kennedys Philadelphia office held a successful food drive at the beginning of November last year, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Philabundance, Philadelphia's largest nonprofit food bank, distributes food to 350 agencies in and around the city each year through partnerships including churches, children's programmes, homeless shelters, and neighbourhood groups. Holiday staples were donated by colleagues. Kennedys Philadelphia “was thrilled to help Philabundance in its mission to improve the lives and make a difference to Philadelphians in need”.
In June, members in our Chicago office participated in the 27th Race Judicata. Race Judicata, a 5k mile run/walk benefits the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) Foundation whose mission is to ensure that the law works for everyone. The CVLS mobilizes Chicago’s legal community to deliver traditional representation and innovative legal solutions to people working or living in poverty. Participants took the scenic route, which looped from Grant Park along the iconic lakeshore running path, up to the Chicago yacht club and back.