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Applications open for Black Solicitors Network Grassroots Programme

Press release issued: 7 June 2021

The Law School is delighted to be working in partnership with the Black Solicitors Network (BSN) as one of the sponsors for the BSN Grassroots Programme, a unique offering designed to promote and increase equality of access to the legal profession by enhancing the employability and career prospects of Black undergraduate talent.

Applications are now open for the BSN Grassroots Programme, an intensive programme of careers and skills workshops to guide candidates through a career development journey over the course of one academic year, held in partnership with industry experts and experienced lawyers.

The Programme is a bespoke offering to Black university students from non-traditional backgrounds who are interested in a career in law and studying at one of the Programme’s four sponsor universities: University of Manchester (Headline Sponsor), Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Salford and University of Bristol.

Applications to the Programme close on Wednesday 21 July 2021. Applicants to the Programme are required to meet an eligibility criteria and applications will be considered on merit, in collaboration with the Programme sponsors.

Eligibility

This opportunity is open to BSN student members - register as a free student member on the BSN website. The key aspects of the eligibility criteria, detailed in full in the application form, include being from a Black background (i.e. Black African, black African Caribbean, mixed-race black African or mixed-race black African Caribbean backgrounds); from “non-traditional” or “less advantaged” backgrounds; and interested in a legal career and able to show a proven academic commitment.

Deadline

Submit your application to grassroots@blacksolicitorsnetwork.org by 5:30pm on Wednesday 21 July 2021.

Programme Timeline

The first year of the Grassroots Programme will commence in September 2021, delivering six workshops in collaboration with experts and partners to the cohort over the course of the academic year, concluding in June 2022. The themes for and timeline of the workshops are:

Careers

  • CVs and application forms, including a session on aptitude testing (October)
  • Interviews, including a commercial awareness session (January)
  • Networking and Reputation Management (April)

Skills

Interactive skills development workshops designed with input from leading academic / talent consultants include

  • Negotiation (November)
  • Legal drafting (February)
  • Advocacy (May)

This is a unique opportunity to receive training, guidance and developmental opportunities to enhance your career prospects. The workshops are an opportunity to meet with like-minded students, experienced lawyers and experts, expand networks and gain insight into firms and legal careers. 

Further information

The Black Solicitors Network (BSN) is a not-for-profit organisation with a rich, 25-year record of providing vital support networks for its members, mentoring the next generation of black lawyers, as well as informing and influencing diversity and inclusion best practice across the legal profession.

They are the primary voice of black solicitors in England and Wales and are committed to achieving equality of access, retention, and promotion for existing and aspiring black solicitors. BSN’s national membership now stands at several thousand and continues to grow exponentially. An inclusive rather than exclusive network, their reputation is such that they attract and welcome members from across the cultural and diversity spectrum.  

As a Corporate Member of BSN, the University of Bristol Law School actively and publicly contributes towards the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda, and to increase the accessibility of events, opportunities and mentoring offered by the BSN to the black and minority ethnic student community. The BSN strives to ensure that the initiatives and services they offer remain accessible to those who need them most.

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