Concrete action to tackle racial inequality is an urgent priority, the Law Society of England and Wales said today as Black History Month approaches.
The Law Society reflects on the benefits to the organization and the experiences of five interns who participated in a six-week paid internship as part of the #10000BlackInterns initiative.
The initiative was founded to help expand career opportunities for young black people in the UK and address the under-representation of black talent in many sectors.
The program provides paid work experience in over 20 industries – including law – and creates a lasting cycle of mentorship and sponsorship.
Law Society interns have worked in a variety of departments, including legal services, legal policy, and people and organizational development.
“The Law Society has benefited immensely from the contribution of the interns who have joined us as part of the #10000BlackInterns initiative,” said Law Society President I. Stephanie Boyce.
“The interns have made a positive contribution to many areas of the business. They are highly motivated, brought new perspectives and also created a positive feeling around the organization.
“With Black History Month on the horizon, we thought it was important to reflect on our journey in the #10000BlackInterns initiative, identify the accomplishments, challenges and lessons we can do move forward for future trainees.
“We are delighted that the interns told us that they had learned a lot from their work experience and were able to acquire key professional skills that they could use in their careers.
“As part of their program with us, we organized trips to JP Morgan, Allen & Overy and the Royal Courts of Justice, where they were able to see first hand how lawyers work to turn the wheels of justice.
“I also had the great pleasure of meeting the interns and was delighted to hear about their hopes and ambitions for their careers.
“We were given food for thought on how we can improve the experience for the next cohort of interns, such as extending the experience beyond six weeks and giving interns the opportunity to gain experience in work in other departments.
“90 legal and compliance firms participate in the program. 10 major law firms are opening their doors to welcome interns and help them gain experience to climb the career ladder.
“I wholeheartedly encourage the profession to participate in this initiative. By welcoming new voices and experiences into our businesses, we can better serve our customers and society.
“It is imperative that we speak openly and honestly to ensure that we create culture change in the organizations we work in, and not just to pursue our own success.
“Following this program, the Law Society welcomed former articling student Dorcas Baah as a new employee in our executive support office.
“I really hope the #10000 Black Interns initiative leads other companies to offer full-time or part-time employment to their ambitious and dedicated interns.”
Dorcas Baah said, “Participating in the #10000BlackInterns initiative has been an incredible stepping stone for me. It allowed me to gain work experience in the profession I wanted, the legal sector, which is often very competitive and not very diversified.
“It also allowed me to familiarize myself with the Law Society’s organizational structure, which helped me land my current role in the Executive Support Office.
“I am truly proud to have secured my position after my internship as it is a great culmination of my hard work and consistency during my internship. More importantly, it shows that the #10000BlackInterns program produces diverse individuals, high achievers and driven individuals who can excel in the work environment beyond their internships.
Notes to Editors
Read the summary of our Achieving Change Together roundtables in 2020
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