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Napthens supports change in law sector recruitment at Westminster event

A team, consisting of head of people and operations, Nicola Mason, learning and development business partner Simon Price and trainee solicitor Michelle Geraghty, represented Napthens at a prestigious event at the House of Commons this week, to mark the completion of a six-month project to help the legal profession be accessible up to an increased demographic of people.


The project, Breaking down barriers to law, is part of a series of events by the Purpose Coalition to break down barriers to opportunity and is chaired by former Education Secretary, Rt Hon Justine Greening.

As a key regional law firm Napthens was invited to support the movement, by contributing to workshops on areas including outreach, access, recruitment and progression, involving colleagues Nicola, Simon, and Daniel Grinsted.

The event saw the launch of an action plan to increase social mobility in the legal profession, increasing pathways to a career in law and awareness of those pathways

The plan features analysis of the challenges faced by the legal sector as well as case studies of best practice. It will also include a comprehensive set of recommendations for the legal sector and law firms that can boost social mobility and widen diversity and inclusion.

Speaking at the event, Chair of the Breaking Down Barriers Commission and former member of Sir Keir Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet, Nick Forbes CBE said: “The Breaking Down Barriers to Law project, and this Action Plan, demonstrates the positive impact that working in partnership can bring. In a sector that is critical to the economy, this collaboration has seen a laser-like focus on the elements that are essential to creating career pathways beyond the traditional networks of the right family, school or university, if it is to open up opportunities to those from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds.

“I hope that it will inspire others in the legal sector, and in professional services more widely, who may be at different stages in their social mobility journey, to consider how they might also take the steps that will deliver equality of opportunity in their businesses.”

Napthens has already partnered with a number of Further Education establishments, support the firm’s investment in first generation law undergraduates and proactively engaging with first-generation students and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds about a career in law.

Nicola, Napthens’ head of people and operations, said: “As a firm we’re committed to social inclusion and we were delighted to have been part of this project, delivering on our promises to support social mobility in our profession, particularly from those our local communities.

“Napthens wants to ensure under-represented backgrounds can gain the appropriate level of knowledge to make the right educational choices, and when they’ve done that, the access to pathways to help them build a career in law.

“With many career choices available in law firms, it’s vital we’re at the forefront of education and insight into our profession, so a significant cross-section of society know this is an option for their vocation.

“By playing our part and being involved in projects like Breaking down barriers to law, we hope the next generation will see the widest range of demographics working at Napthens and in the wider legal profession.”