For the third year, lawyers at Clarion in Leeds will be sharing their expertise with students at the Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College’s Law Academy as part of a two year mentoring programme.
Fourteen 16 and 17 year old pupils at the college in Leeds will be paired up with mentors from Clarion, ranging from paralegals and trainee solicitors through to partners. Meeting the students at least twice a term over two academic years, the lawyers will work with the students to provide advice and support them in their studies and careers choices.
Notre Dame Sixth Form College is a member of the Careers Academies UK which aims to bring together employers and schools to better prepare young people for the world of work. Known as ‘partners in business’, employee volunteers provide students with support, friendship, reinforcement and constructive examples from their experiences that can help students learn. The focus is a blend of supporting students in their studies and helping them develop the soft skills needed for adult life.
Nigel Briggs, head of Law at Notre Dame Sixth Form College, said: “The continuing support of partners in business, such as Clarion, is crucial to our students. We actively encourage students to engage with employers and in an environment as competitive as law, it’s particularly important that they can refer to those already working in the profession about their studies and future career.”
Senior partner at Clarion, Roger Hutton, comments: “We’re keen to do all we can to bring the worlds of education and work closer together, particularly if it also helps to support young people entering the legal profession. As mentors, our role is to help to raise students’ confidence and aspirations – with some many life-changing decisions in front of them, it’s extremely satisfying to work with them and help to better prepare them to enter the work force. We see it as an investment in young people.”
Jemma Green, trainee solicitor at Clarion, says: “I am in the second year of mentoring a student and have found it a really rewarding experience. Throughout the last academic year, I met with her to discuss the legal profession and her career, from looking at her CV and application letters to the importance of getting work experience and the process of obtaining a training contract.
“Having been through this myself, I have been able to give her an insight into the challenges of entering the profession and what it is like to be a solicitor, helping her to understand the various options available. I have been happy to be able to share my experiences with her and am learning a lot from working with her.”
Picture shows (L to R): Kelly Hand, trainee solicitor at Clarion, with mentee Hanna Gentry of Notre Dame Sixth Form College
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