UK - Access Law

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Access Law

We are committed to expanding access to the legal profession, and careers at Ashurst, for students interested in a career in law.

By taking part in our Access Law Programme you will have access to interactive panel discussions, will learn more about what a career in law entails, be provided the skills and knowledge needed to navigate law firm recruitment processes, and learn tips for thriving at university and/or in the world of law.

The programme will be run virtually ensuring that all students, no matter their geographic location can benefit from the opportunity. Participants will require access to the internet, a computer/laptop or mobile device (such as tablet or mobile phone) to take part in this programme. All sessions will take place in school term-time and just after the school day meaning that participants have the option to join from home or school.

If you are interested in the programme but have any concerns about being able to access it, please contact us. We are committed to supporting all eligible students to access this opportunity and would be happy to have a chat about ways in which we can support you.

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What we can offer you

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An insight into the legal profession

You will gain an understanding of commercial law, the type of work encountered by commercial lawyers, and Ashurst's legal and business focus areas.


An opportunity to build your network

You will have the opportunity to meet with industry professionals and gain an insight into their own social mobility journeys and career backgrounds.


Career guidance

Our team of recruitment experts and legal professionals will help you understand the career choices available to you and will provide you with top tips for making your application stand out.

The recruitment process

Eligibility requirements

You will be eligible to apply for our Access Law programme if:

  • are studying in your penultimate or final year of secondary school (Year 12/13 in England & Wales; S5/S6 Scotland; Year 13/14 Northern Ireland and 5th/6th Year Republic of Ireland).

  • are attending a state funded, non-fee paying school/college or are attending a fee paying school on a 100% means-tested bursary.

Additional criteria

You must also meet one or more of the following:

  • have been, or are currently, in local authority care.

  • are currently in receipt of, or have previously received, free school meals, Pupil Premium, Education Maintenance Allowance and/or 16 to 19 Bursary.

  • are, or have been, a full-time or part-time carer.

  • came to the UK as a refugee or asylum seeker.

  • grew up in a household where the occupation of the main earner is categorised as a routine or man-ual occupation. For further details please click here.

  • are attending a state school or college with:

  • grew up in a household where no parent or guardian attended University.

Important information

  • We are passionate about reaching students who will benefit most from this opportunity and use Rare Recruitment's contextual recruitment system (CRS) to support us with our recruitment decisions in relation to applying the above 'additional criteria'. The CRS allows us to understand your achievements in the context in which they have been gained. We seek to recruit the best people, from every background, regardless of their personal circumstances, and the CRS help us to do that.

  • If you are (or have been) looked after, accommodated or in care, you only need to meet the school year requirement listed in the Eligibility Requirements section.

  • There is room on the application form to explain any extenuating circumstances that might impact your application.

These above additional criteria are not exhaustive and may be amended over time.

Our short application form will include a question asking you about your interest in a career in commercial law, Ashurst and this programme.

Top tips

  • Make sure you allow plenty of time to complete the application form.

  • Include time at the end to carefully proof read your application before submitting.

  • Draft your application in Microsoft Word to make use of the spelling and grammar checker.

  • Spend time researching Ashurst and the type of law we specialise in and remember to mention why this type of law interests you.

  • Use the word limit as guidance for how much you should write and remember to back up your statements with relevant research and examples.

  • Try to avoid long sentences where these are not needed. Short sentences are easier to read and will help you to get your point across more clearly.

  • Finally, don't be tempted to copy and paste from our website. We want to read your own words and not ours.

Candidates with disabilities or long-term health conditions

We are committed to making all stages of our recruitment process accessible to candidates with disabilities or long-term health conditions. If you consider yourself to have a disability or a long-term health condition, please feel able to be open about this at any point during the recruitment process. If you are not sure what adjustments you require, we will work with you to establish the most suitable adjustments at each stage of the recruitment process. Please note that our online application form includes a section which allows you to advise us of any extenuating circumstances that are relevant for us to consider when reviewing your application form.

If you would like to talk to a member of our team in relation to any queries you may have on your disability or long-term health condition and the recruitment process, please contact us. Any information disclosed on your disability or long-term health condition will remain strictly confidential.

Key dates - 2024/2025 programme

6th August 2024

8th October 2024 – midday

By 15th October 2024

Session 1: An Insight into Commercial Law, Career Pathways, and Job Roles: 22 October 2024, 16:00 - 17:30

Session 2: Application forms and online assessments: 19 November 2024, 16:30 - 17:30

Session 3: Preparing for an interview or assessment centre: 10 December 2024, 16:30 -17:30

Session 4: What is commercial awareness, and why is it important?: 4 February 2025, 16:30 -17:30

Session 5: Social mobility: Harnessing your strengths: 4 March 2025, 16:30 -17:30

Session 6: Preparing for university and the workplace: 1 April 2025, 16:00 -17:30


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"The Access Law programme has played a huge role in demystifying careers in commercial law and addressing misconceptions about work in the legal sector. It has helped me to understand different career pathways, the nature of work in the commercial sector and the session on recruitment top tips was invaluable in informing my approach to future applications. Going forward, I feel more prepared and confident to apply to schemes with firms, having learnt through interactions with legal professionals as part of the programme that there is no one specific 'type' of person that is suitable to be a lawyer"

Access Law student from Reading.

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"The Access Law webinars have been really insightful in regards to pathways into law, I feel equipped with top tips to secure an apprenticeship, traineeship, or interviews. Also, hearing from professionals from all stages such as trainees to qualified lawyers has been really helpful in ensuring I know what to expect from a legal career. Lastly, particularly the first Access Law webinar has made me more confident in what sector of law I want to work in, by educating me thoroughly in what type of work commercial lawyers do daily."

Access Law student from Glasgow


Applicant Resource Hub

For answers to all your frequently asked questions and information on application & interview tips, the benefits we provide, life at Ashurst, our L&D programmes, and our IDB initiatives.

Visit hub

Inclusion, Diversity & Belonging

Our inclusive and diverse culture stands at the heart of everything we do. For more information on our initiatives and the support we provide please follow the link below.

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Contact Us

If you can’t find answers to your questions on this page or on the Applicant Resource Hub then please contact our Social Impact team.


We are committed to offering a safe and welcoming environment for our employees and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. With diversity and inclusion at the heart of what we do we place a strong emphasis on working with people from diverse communities and aim to make a positive impact through our Social Impact programmes.

Speak up!

Ashurst is committed to ensuring an accountable workplace culture. Candidates are encouraged to report any ethical or conduct concerns to our confidential email address:

Please note that this email address should not be used for general enquiries about, or applications for, job positions available at Ashurst as they will not be passed onto the relevant team. Any recruitment enquires should be directed to