Diversity Inclusion Scheme

Our Aim

Birmingham Law Society (BLS) proudly launched its 2024 Diversity Inclusion Scheme (DIS) on 3rd June 2024.

BLS launched its DIS in 2020 in conjunction with the University of Law, Higgs LLP and Gateley Legal. The scheme is aimed at helping talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and under-represented groups to pursue a career in law.

This year the scheme is pleased to be partnering with The University of Law, The College of Legal Practice, Higgs LLP and Gateley Legal.

Through the DIS 2024, our aim is to support talented, aspiring solicitors to pursue their legal education and careers through:

  • Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) scholarships
  • Vacation Scheme place
  • Mentoring

Read more about our 2023 winners here.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Read the full eligibility criteria for 2024 here. If you have any questions, check the FAQs below or email dis@birminghamlawsociety.co.uk.

HOW TO APPLY?

Download the application form here. Complete and send back to dis@birminghamlawsociety.co.uk by 5pm on 15th July 2024.

KEY DATES

  • 3rd June: Applications open for DIS 2024
  • 15th July: Applications close for DIS 2024 at 5pm
  • 16th – 31st July: Shortlisting
  • W/C 5th August: Interviews with shortlisted applicants
  • W/C 19th August: All shortlisted applicants advised whether they have been successful

OUR SPONSORS

Gateley stands apart from the crowd because of what we do and who we are. The first commercial law firm to float on the London Stock Exchange, our strategy is to differentiate what we do by diversifying the professional services that we offer our clients and to incentivise our people. It is this strategy that has seen our turnover nearly double since we listed and our team grow to around 1000 people. We are a business that has a great story to tell and an even more exciting one planned. We work together to deliver 100% client satisfaction by making the complex simple. We achieve this through our core values of being forward thinking and straight talking.

Forward thinking: since arriving as the new kids on the block all those years ago, we’ve earned our stripes in the legal industry, building a leading name and a revered reputation. It’s why we went Plc. It’s why we’re pushing the limits of what a legal and professional business can offer. Forward thinking within our business helps our clients move forward in theirs.

Straight talking: business is complicated. The last thing we want to do is add more complexity. Which is why we make sure our advice is always clear, straightforward, and easy to put into practice. Our diverse team is made up of experts in all areas of law and business. But it’s about more than just their expertise. It’s about being straight talking. We deliver all this advice in simple, clear, everyday language, so you spend less time decoding legal jargon and more time focusing on what’s important to you.

We’re delighted to be supporting the Birmingham Law Society Diversity Inclusion Scheme and offer a successful candidate mentoring and a place on 2024 Summer Vacation Scheme in Birmingham. For the last few years, we have recruited all of our Trainee Solicitors via our Summer Vacation Schemes, therefore having a place on our 2024 Summer Vacation Scheme will also allow the successful candidate to be considered for a two-year training contract or Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship.

If offered a place following one of our Summer Vacation Schemes, Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeships and training contracts will commence in September 2026.

Our vision is to be the independent regional law firm of choice, recognised for having a positive long-term impact upon its people, its clients, its business partners and its community.

When it comes to our people, the team is everything at Higgs – an environment of sharing and collaboration, and a real sense of loyalty to each other and the firm. That is coupled with a desire for everyone to learn and develop. We are always striving to be better. We enjoy what we do. We are genuinely interested in our clients and want them to feel a part of the firm too.

Our approach to our people draws on enjoyment, health & wellbeing, developing talent, technical excellence, training, reward and recognition.

With over two hundred employees and Members we offer a flexible and unique environment for people to grow their careers. Higgs was recently recognised as Regional Law Firm of the Year by Birmingham Law Society.

As charter signatories to The Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter, Higgs LLP are committed to developing a diverse business by engaging with the widest pool of talent and promoting equality of opportunity for everyone. Three-quarters of our colleagues identify as female.

Our Inclusion Group empowers our people to participate in networks and activities which celebrate and raise awareness across a range of key areas: LGBTQ+, race, social mobility, visible and invisible disabilities. We engage with the Race and Ethnicity Alliance group at the University of Law to better understand the barriers faced by those looking to join the profession.

73% of the firm attended a non-selective state-run or state-funded school. The firm is a Cornerstone Employer and acts as an ambassador for social mobility, tackling disadvantage and driving better outcomes for young people. We collate our diversity and inclusion figures each year and ensure we measure progress against our targets.

Our mission is to ensure that everyone is empowered to be the best version of themselves and to have a voice which can be shared, heard and respected.

At Higgs we firmly believe that talent and potential are not limited to any particular background or upbringing but to achieve inclusivity, we must go beyond lip service and take concrete action. By participating in the BLS scheme our intention is to continue to bring down barriers and to create opportunities for future lawyers, regardless of their circumstances.

Our Spring Vacation Scheme will take place during March/April. Training contracts will commence in September 2025/2026.

The College of Legal Practice is an accredited postgraduate Law School based in the UK.

Purpose: To help legal professionals reach their unique potential.
Mission: To develop excellent legal professionals through personalised, flexible learning.
Vision: To become your go-to professional practice provider throughout your legal career.

We’re changing the status quo. Designing legal courses around you. Your organisation needs, your personal circumstances, your unique aspirations. We’re helping a more diverse group of individuals access and progress in the legal profession.

Our supervisors are not just passionate about education, they’re also experienced legal practitioners. And they’re just a click away, ready to guide you with one-to-one personal supervision using our flexible online platform.

Whether you’re a student looking to take your skills to the next level, or a legal firm searching for training that aligns with your practice, we can provide a tailored solution.

We’re proud to be different. Proud to be driving change. For more information click here.

The University of Law is one of the UK’s longest-established specialist providers of legal education. We can trace our origins to 1876 with the formation of leading tutorial firm Gibson & Weldon and, in 2016, we opened our leading Business School. In 2006 we were the first-ever independent institution to be granted degree awarding powers and not long after, in 2012, we gained university title. We are at the heart of legal education as the acknowledged leader in innovative, professional legal education for prospective lawyers and professional development training for those already qualified. Over the years, we have worked with many UK law firms to help to meet their training and development needs, with many firms sending their trainee solicitors exclusively to us. We have built our Business School in this same image, with a focus on applied, industry relevant and professional education and training.

We also have many international partnerships that allow us to provide a rounded, global outlook to business and law – and why employers of all types want to meet our students. We are ambitious and growing. In 2019 we opened our first international campus in Hong Kong.

In the same year we launched our 10th UK campus in Nottingham and we continue to grow recruitment into our Business School hub in Berlin. We are driving international growth through new campuses and partnerships. This provides rich opportunities for our students to rotate across our global network and benefit from learning in diverse cultural and business contexts.

Over 300 of our faculty are qualified lawyers and business professionals, and all have extensive practical experience which they are able to pass on to our students. We focus on practice-based training and give our students access to our expert Careers and Employability Service and database as soon as they accept a place with us. Students also benefit from our pioneering and award-winning pro bono programmes, which allow them to gain valuable work experience by helping real clients from the local community.