Five interns today began their six-week paid internship at the Law Society of England and Wales, as part of our participation in 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 aims to provide paid work experience in more than twenty sectors – including law – and to create a sustainable cycle of mentorship and sponsorship.
Law Society interns will work in a variety of departments, including legal services, legal policy, and people and organizational development.
“I am delighted to welcome five ambitious young people to the Bar. I hope their articling will provide a building block for their future – I know the Law Society will be enriched by their time with us,” said Law Society President I. Stephanie Boyce.
“90 legal and compliance firms are also participating in the program, which I’m excited to see, especially as 10 of the top law firms are opening their doors to host interns and help them gain experience for move up the career ladder.
“I made no secret of the setbacks I faced trying to break into the legal industry. As I was raised in a single parent household in a social housing estate, I found that I didn’t have the connections others might have had to get their foot in the door when I started.
“However, I continued to persevere and eventually qualified as a barrister in 2002, after finding a training contract with a local firm in Buckinghamshire.”
Stéphanie Kushanu, articling student at the Law Society, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity and I am really looking forward to starting my articling at the Bar. I hope to gain more hands-on legal experience as well as a better understanding of what it’s like to work in-house.
Omojadesola Daramola, Law Society Key Account Intern, said, “I have considered marketing a career choice for some time, so I am very excited that this internship will introduce me to working in the department.
“I also received a lot of useful information to prepare for the internship, which made me feel less anxious.”
Jacqueline Adjei, Law Society Human Resources Intern, said, “I was delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Law Society team this summer. I applied for this internship because it felt like an opportunity to improve myself and acquire valuable skills for my future career in the HR sector.
The Law Society’s Legal Policy Intern, Dorcas Baah, added, “I have been incredibly motivated by the appointment of I. Stephanie Boyce as President of the Law Society, as she has set a powerful example of advocacy. It showed me that I could make my mark in the legal profession despite the obstacles I might face.
“I hope that by getting this internship, I will similarly encourage others from minority or disadvantaged backgrounds to work hard and pursue their ambitions in different sectors and organizations – even when they seem out of reach. .”
According to the Law Society’s latest Annual Statistical Report, only 2.1% of licensed lawyers identify as black.*
In 2020, the Law Society hosted a series of Achieving Change Together roundtables with law firms to understand the experiences of black lawyers and their underrepresentation in large law firms and above.
I. Stephanie Boyce concluded, “There is evidence to suggest that diversity in the profession varies significantly by company size and at different levels within the profession.
“The profession must continue to think about how we can welcome new voices and experiences into our businesses and how we can retain and advance them. 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.
Notes to Editors
* Read our 2020 Annual Statistical Report
Read the summary of our Achieving Change Together roundtables in 2020
Read our Race for inclusion report
About the Law Society
The Law Society is the independent professional body working globally to support and represent lawyers, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.
Press office contact: Naomi Jeffreys | 020 8049 3928