Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
We believe in equality, diversity & inclusion for everyone – employees, clients and the firm. As part of our overall commitment to equality of opportunity, we are fully dedicated to promoting a good harmonious working environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
Our Head of HR chairs our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee and comprises a group of Partners and Associates and other members of the firm. The committee meets regularly to consider equality and diversity issues throughout the firm, monitoring and reporting diversity data, policy reviews and compliance with relevant legislation, identifying areas for improvement, and actioning the same. The committee focuses on the following strands of diversity:
- Social Mobility
The committee reports regularly to the Managing Partner and the Group Leaders.
We are committed to making our diversity policy effective and will take all appropriate steps to ensure everyone is treated fairly.
At Lester Aldridge, we are committed to offering an array of opportunities to people from all walks of life, fostering a diverse environment which allows people to develop to their full potential.
The firm runs several initiatives to increase access to the profession and nurture talent.
We offer apprenticeships.
In September 2022, 6 Graduate Solicitor Apprentices started their journey to qualification. We have since increased this number.
Solicitor apprenticeships offer an alternative route for people wishing to qualify as a solicitor. The apprentices will work four days a week at LA with a day release for study, allowing them to “earn while they learn” and gain practical experience simultaneously. In addition, the apprentices will sit the new solicitors qualifying examinations at the end of their apprenticeship.
We also have one colleague progressing in their career as a digital support technician, pursuing level 3 qualifications.
We offer work experience placements.
In 2022 we had 28 students join us for work experience, ranging from GCSE to degree level and in 2023, so far, we have had two students.
We support the CILEX non-graduate pathway to qualification as a lawyer and the fast-track route.
Currently, 6 of our colleagues are qualifying through the CILEX Route as an alternative qualification method.
We provide career development funding.
LA provided 11 loans in 2021, 12 in 2022 and 5 in 2023. LA also offers five days of study leave and three days of exam leave.
We offer 40-week placements to University students.
17 of our colleagues have joined the firm on placement until 2023. In addition, some of our placement students have become full-time paralegals and solicitors at LA.
We attend local schools and universities to speak on topics such as CV writing and careers in law.
We appear at careers fairs in schools and universities, offering advice to students and parents on careers in the legal profession ranging from administration support to lawyers.
We are also working with schools and colleges in our local communities to mentor and offer work experience to students who otherwise may not consider a career in law due to their socio-economic circumstances and limited exposure and provide insight into the opportunities available.