PRIME is an alliance of law firms across the UK and Republic of Ireland determined to improve access to and socio-economic diversity within the legal profession.
Weeks of work
students per year
Put simply, because the legal sector should be open to talent from all economic backgrounds – and there’s still more work to do to put things right. The most recent Social Mobility Commission report found that:
of senior judges went to independent schools
of people believe ‘who you know’ is more important than ‘what you know’
of people think family background influences life chances in Britain
Every firm involved in PRIME makes what we call the PRIME Commitment. It’s how we make sure we’re offering the right quality of experience across all placements, so firms are only able to sign up if they're able to make that commitment. Our 9 commitments are detailed below so you know what to expect, no matter what firm you're at.
1. Fair access
Our mission is clear and that’s to provide access to work experience for young people who have least opportunity. Our firms work with recognised partners to ensure the selection criteria continue to be the fairest way to identify those with least opportunity.
We pledge to support our PRIME students by providing financial assistance so they can attend work experience. As a minimum our firms will provide refreshments and reimburse reasonable travel expenses.
3. Prepare for work
PRIME schemes will properly prepare young people in advance of work experience. They'll give practical information and pre-placement activities where appropriate. Our firms will ensure they’re able to meet the diverse needs of their PRIME students.
4. Give career advice
Our firms will give information to their PRIME students about the range of careers available in the legal profession and wider business (for lawyers and non-lawyers) and clear, honest information about the requirements for them. They’ll also give information on the potential routes into those careers, including the relevance of university education and other routes into the profession. To support this information, our firms will adopt a partnership approach with other relevant organisations (e.g universities and clients).
5. Develop key skills
Our members will ensure that our PRIME students, through the work experience they receive, develop key personal and business skills. These invaluable skills (such as team work, communication, presentation, negotiation, making an impact and networking) are fundamental to a career in law and the wider business world.
6. Maintain contact
We don’t want the PRIME experience to end when the work experience does. Our firms will provide a way for PRIME students to maintain contact with them after they leave – whether that be over email or a more formal structured mentoring programme or an annual reunion event.
7. Keep up best practice
Our member firms want to develop and improve on the work experience they offer. All of our firms pledge to monitor their work experience offering. They’ll ensure they share best practice and data amongst PRIME members to enable the membership to develop and assure the quality of the commitments made under PRIME, including with externally commissioned evaluation when considered appropriate.
8. Target 50%
PRIME members commit to providing opportunities to those who need it most. As a result, our firms pledge to offer a number of work experience places that is not less than 50% of the number of training contract places that the firm offers each year.