ABOUT THE PROGRAMME
Pathways to Law is a programme that looks to inspire and support students to explore a range of careers in law and build essential knowledge, skills and confidence required to go on to higher education and the world of work. All Pathways to Law students are also offered real-life experience, with a work placement, and mentoring and networking opportunities.
The programme was established in 2006 by the Sutton Trust and the Legal Education Foundation, with generous support from our partner law firms and is the largest initiative of its nature. Pathways to Law was developed to widen access to the legal profession, as research by the Sutton Trust had shown that the top echelons of the professions were drawn from a narrow range of social backgrounds. The programme aims to raise student’s aspirations and allow them to make informed decision about their future career.
Whilst each university has a unique way of delivering the programme, every Pathways to Law Student will be offered:
A one week work experience placement at a leading law firm
A programme of after-school and weekend events.
E-mentoring from legal professionals
The chance to attend a four-day residential conference packed with talks, activities and networking opportunities
A visit to the Inner Temple, the home of one of the major professional associations of barristers
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 at the start of the programme (for post 16 2year programme)
Live within a reasonable commuting distance of the university to which they are applying
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
Would be the first generation in their family to attend university
Have been in receipt of Free School Meals whilst at secondary school
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
Have parent(s)/guardian(s) who qualify for means-tested benefits
Have been looked after or in care
WHERE AND WHEN
Pathways to Law universities run activities and workshops for students in Year 10 and 11 at local schools and at the universities. If you are a student that is interested in getting 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:
HOW TO APPLY
Pre 16 activities – Students are unable to apply for this through the Sutton Trust, please contact the university directly to see if/how you can get involved.
Post 16 programme – Applications for Pathways to Law are now open! Please click the link at the top of this page to begin your application.
WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY
Before the Pathways to Law programme, I had no idea what studying law would be like or what being a lawyer really meant. Two years on, I am holding an offer to study law at Oxford, with the knowledge I am going to study a subject that I will really enjoy. I also know that there would be absolutely no way this would have been possible without Pathways or the Sutton Trust.
I cannot express how grateful I am for all of the support and the opportunities that were available to me – from the internship at Eversheds to the day at one of the Bar temples in London to lectures and workshops provided by the universities. The fact that Pathways to Law is paid for is great- coming from a single parent household on minimum income, it means that I am not missing out on these brilliant opportunities. Also, it is great to meet with people who are as ambitious and interested in law as you are and come from a similar background – so there is that fundamental similarity.
I didn’t have any idea about commercial law and the process of obtaining vacation schemes and training contracts before the programme. Thanks to being assigned a mentor, attending residentials and networking events, I was equipped with the knowledge and support I needed to pursue work experience and a career in the legal profession. Being able to spend time in London law firms and meet barristers, judges and other professionals made application processes less daunting and the whole process more accessible. Without the Sutton Trust, I would not have had the motivation or the ‘foot in the door’ to have obtained a Training Contract at Linklaters.
It was only really when I began completing my application to university that I fully appreciated just how much I have gained from this course. Not only has my knowledge of law as an academic subject grown significantly, I feel as though I have had a privileged introduction to university life as well as the wider world of law which stands me in excellent stead for my future career. Given that my parents have no qualifications above GCSE level and I am the first person in my family to attend university, I honestly don’t believe I would be where I am today, holding an offer from my first choice university, without the opportunities that Pathways to Law has provided for me.