ACCESS TO PRACTICE SCHEME 2013-2014 INFORMATION
Introduction BPP Law School will launch the eighth year of its mentoring scheme, the ‘Access to Practice’ Scheme, this November. The scheme will be run through BPP’s Careers Service and will be co-ordinated by the Careers Service at each centre. The scheme is aimed at all LPC students without training contracts, part time and full time, specifically targeting those students with limited or no contact with the legal profession. These students will be matched with volunteers from legal settings (‘Practice Advisers’) who will offer advice and encouragement on career related issues. Aims of the Access to Practice Scheme The main aims of BPP’s Access to Practice Scheme are to: - Aid career development – the scheme aims to provide an extension of BPP’s Careers Service; for example, Practice Advisers can offer their perspective on researching law firms, drafting covering letters and CVs and successful interview techniques - Match one student to one Practice Adviser in an area of law or type of firm the student is interested in - Provide the student with a true insight of life in practice – the scheme will provide students with limited contacts in the legal profession an opportunity to gain an insight into law in practice rather than just law as an academic subject - Allow students to draw on the knowledge and experiences of those in practice or involved in the recruitment process - Foster the development of links between BPP’s Careers Service, students and employers Target Practice Advisers We are keen to recruit volunteer Practice Advisers from the following groups due to the varying knowledge and advice each of these groups can offer: - Trainee Solicitors - Solicitors of all levels - Partners - Graduate Recruitment To cater for our diverse student body, BPP’s Careers Service would like to encourage all types and sizes of firms to take part in our scheme.
Target Students Our target student group for the 2013/14 scheme will be both full-time and part-time LPC students. To ensure equality and diversity, all students who feel they will benefit from the Access to Practice Scheme can apply to participate. Students will be asked to complete a detailed application form which assesses their commitment and motivation to join the scheme, as well as the level of contact they have had with the legal profession to date. If contact with the profession has been limited, despite efforts to secure legal experience, these students will be prioritised. Benefits of the Scheme: Volunteer Practice Advisers BPPâ€™s Careers Service hopes that volunteer Practice Advisers and their firms will experience several benefits to participating in our scheme: - The opportunity to share your own knowledge and experience of careers related issues - The firm/organisation will be able to demonstrate its commitment to equality and diversity - An increased profile of the firm/organisation within the student body - A feedback mechanism on your firmâ€™s recruitment processes Mentoring training The Careers Service team has worked closely with the LPC Training and Development team to offer all Practice Advisers a training session on how to best advise mentees and how to manage their expectations. An online recording of the training delivered at a previous launch is available for all mentors, and some centres may offer training sessions prior to the start of the scheme. Benefits of the Scheme: Student As the BPP Access to Practice Scheme is aimed at all students who feel they will benefit from such a scheme, but specifically those with limited contact with the legal profession, BPPâ€™s Careers Service hopes that successful students will experience the following benefits: - A point of contact (possibly a first point of contact) within the legal profession to offer advice on careers related issues - The opportunity to experience a true insight of what life is like as a solicitor - The chance to receive advice on careers issues directly from employers (for example, CV, application form and interview advice) - Increased confidence in making training contract applications and attending interviews based on a better understanding of what a career as a solicitor really involves - An excellent networking opportunity
Commitment Required To take part in our scheme, students will need to demonstrate commitment and motivation. The application form they will have to complete has been designed to assess: - the level of contact applicants have had with the legal profession; - any obstacles applicants have encountered in applying for training contracts (for example weak academics) that are the result of mitigating circumstances; - evidence of work-related and extracurricular achievements; - applicantsâ€™ understanding of the scheme and their objectives in applying for it; and - the extent to which applicants will be prepared to devote time and effort to the scheme, if selected. Practice Advisers who volunteer will need to be able to dedicate a minimum of 5 hours contact time to their matched student between the launch of the scheme and the end of July 2014. Contact can be face to face, via email or telephone. Mid-scheme evaluation Both Practice Advisers and students will be asked to comment on how they feel the scheme is progressing. Practice Advisers will be asked for an honest evaluation of how proactive their students are being, and students will be notified of this evaluation at the outset of the scheme, which we hope will provide an added incentive for only those students who are fully committed to apply for the scheme. Previous Feedback Positive feedback from Practice Advisers who volunteered for previous yearâ€™s schemes included the following comments: - interesting to gain insight into the challenges faced by applicants - satisfying to pass on advice and tips - positive to be in touch with students and their expectations - good to develop mentoring skills - rewarding to pass on the benefit of your experience - positive experience of seeing a student develop - I have found the scheme rewarding and worthwhile to take part in, and have been impressed by the commitment and motivation shown by the student I was mentoring. - The scheme is very good, it is a superb idea and I think everyone involved benefits greatly. Interested? If you are interested in participating in BPPâ€™s Access to Practice Scheme you can register online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/A2P_London_2013-14 If you have any questions or would like more information, then please contact us on Lawcareers@bpp.com.