Pathways to Law icon
Applications close:
30 November 2022
Year 12
England and Wales, Online
2 years

What the programme offers

Each university has a unique way of delivering the programme. Over the course of two academic years, every Pathways to Law student will gain access to Sutton Trust Online and have the opportunity to:

Apply for a Work experience placement

Apply for a Work experience placement

Find out what it’s like to be a lawyer. You will be able to apply for a work placement at a legal firm which may be delivered virtually. You can develop your skills and hear from practising professionals. Our placements range from big-city firms to barristers’ chambers to government departments. In the past we’ve worked with:

  • Linklaters
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Eversheds Sutherland
  • DLA Piper
  • Wilberforce Chambers


Access Sutton Trust Online

Access Sutton Trust Online

You will have access to our virtual platform throughout your programme. With Sutton Trust Online, you will receive personal statement support and be able to chat to our community of alumni about university life. You will also be able to view our extensive content library with lots of useful resources to help you prepare for university and beyond!

Attend university events

Attend university events

We will hold regular events to help prepare you for applying to, and attending, university. Until we are able to do so, we will be holding our events virtually either after school or during half-terms and holidays. We try to schedule most events in your first year to accommodate your A-level schedule. You will receive a full calendar of events in your first month so you can save the dates. In the past we have offered:

  • Open days
  • Interview workshops
  • Law masterclasses
  • Personal statement and CV-writing workshops


Get an undergraduate mentor

Get an undergraduate mentor

Get personalised guidance from an undergrad. You’ll be paired with a law student from your chosen university, who will guide you through your two years and give you insight into university life. They can share their experience picking a school, managing student finances, navigating social life and more!


Attend a summer school

Attend a summer school

Our national conference is a crucial part of the programme and will be held either online or residentially at Warwick University, depending on government guidance. You will get to go to lectures to see what university life has to offer. Meet students from around the country and network with professionals. Hone the skills that universities and employers look for and access expert advice on university applications. You can look forward to:

  • Skills workshops
  • Networking events
  • Career talks
  • University fair
  • Social activities


Access to our Alumni Network

Access to our Alumni Network

Once you graduate from a Sutton Trust programme, you will become a member of our alumni community. Sutton Trust Alumni is the online home of the alumni community. Here you can create connections, access support and inspire change. With more than 3,500 alumni already active in the community, you can get advice from alums studying and working in areas you are interested in. You’ll also gain exclusive access to events, career opportunities and ways to stay involved with our work.


Who can apply


Students applying to Pathways to Law must meet the following criteria:

  • Attend, and have always attended, a state-funded, non fee-paying school/college
  • Be in Year 12 (England and Wales), Year 13 (Northern Ireland) or S5 (Scotland) at the start of the programme.
  • If applying for Pathways in person: Live within a reasonable commuting distance of the university you are applying to. This will normally be one hour’s travel time each way. Please note, this year’s programme may begin online, but we hope to move to face-to-face programming once feasible. There will likely be elements of digital and face-to-face throughout the year. We will continue to follow the government’s and each universities’ guidance on this. If you are unsure about this, please contact us.

In addition, we are looking for students who:

  • Have achieved 5 A* – B grades at GCSE (with a minimum of 2 A* or A grades), including grades 9 – 6 in Mathematics and English. Or have achieved 5 A or B grades at National 5 (with a minimum of 2 A grades) including grades A or B in Mathematics and English.
  • Would be the first generation in their family to attend university
  • Have been in receipt of Free School Meals whilst at Secondary
  • Have attended schools with a lower than average progression to
    Higher Education, or a higher than average proportion of students
    who qualify for Free School Meals
  • Live in a neighbourhood with a low rate of progression to higher education or a high level of socio-economic deprivation
  • Have been looked after or in care

The more criteria you meet, the more likely you are to be offered a place on the programme.

The programme taught me so much about not only law itself, but also how to apply for work experience and jobs, how to network with professional people, what life at university is like, and so much more. Erika, Oadby, Pathways to Law 2018 - University of Leicester
I definitely think the week was most useful and eye opening out of any possible alternative work experience, despite it being online - it covered every aspect you could possibly think of [in] gaining an insight into the field. Pathways and all the law firms really outdid themselves! Pathways to Law participant 2020
I gained so much knowledge, experience and opportunities that I’d never have been able to get outside of Pathways. Harriet, Leicester, Pathways to Law 2018 - University of Leicester
If you’re not sure, just take the chance, it could potentially be one of the best things you’ve ever done, as it was for me. You have nothing to lose by applying! Ibrahim, Manchester, Pathways to Law 2018 - University of Manchester
Student Experiences

Read more about our students’ time on their Pathways work experience.

How to apply

Applications for all Pathways to Law programmes are now open!

Below are the application deadlines for each university hosting a Pathways to Law programme this year

To apply to the Exeter programme please apply through the Exeter scholars site. Applications will open 12th September

University  Application deadline
Cardiff University Closed
University of Exeter Closed
University of Leeds Closed
University of Leicester 11/11/2022
University of Liverpool Closed
University of Manchester Closed
University of Newcastle 18/11/2022
University of Oxford 28/11/2022
London programme (LSE and QMUL) Closed
University of Warwick Closed
Online Closed

From our 2018 cohort


The proportion of students who met 3 or more of our programme criteria.


The proportion of students who would be first generation university students.


The proportion of students who were eligible for Free School Meals at secondary school.

Programme Impact


Pathways to Law students are 3.5x more likely to apply to a leading university.


Pathways to Law students are 4x more likely to accept an offer from a leading university.


The proportion of Pathways to Law students who study, or have studied, law at university.

What people say

Going on to this programme, I never expected it to be as amazing and as engaging as it has been. I have been super impressed, and I was really able to work on my confidence. As someone who wouldn't turn their mic or camera on to begin with, by the final day I was super excited to get stuck in and engage with the amazing opportunities the programme had given me.

Jess, Pathways to Law 2021, The University of Oxford

By meeting a diverse group of people with similar interests, I decided to apply for university for Law, recognising it as the right subject for me. I also enjoyed work experience at a locally based solicitors, which is now the reason I aspire to be a solicitor.

Alice, Liverpool, Pathways to Law 2019 - University of Liverpool

The main thing I gained from Pathways was a confidence to pursue a career in law. Meeting people and visiting law firms confirmed that it was a career I wanted to pursue but also gave me the confidence that it was a career I could pursue.

Matthew, Manchester, Pathways to Law 2016 - University of Manchester

University Partners

Pathways to Law universities run activities and workshops for students in Year 11 at local schools and at the universities. If you are in Year 11 and interested in being involved please contact the universities directly to see how to get involved. The Pathways to Law programme runs for two academic years. It starts during the first term of Year 12 and finishes in the final term of Year 13. The programme is run in conjunction with the following universities:

Funding Partners

With thanks to all our partners who generously provide funding alongside supporting students on the programme.

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