Ashurst and Nomura: Working together to increase access to the legal profession

Access Ashurst Work Experience Programme

As part of Ashurst‘s commitment to promoting social mobility, each year the firm offers 30 secondary students work experience placements in its London office. Students interested in a career in law are recruited from state schools across Haringey, Enfield and Waltham Forest, through the firm’s partnership with education charity Teach First.

During the Access Ashurst programme students gain a strong insight into life as a lawyer and the culture of the firm. By spending two days in legal or support departments, students gain a true insight into the day to day responsibilities of professionals working at Ashurst, whilst also benefiting from a range of skills sessions and activities.

Partnership with Nomura

In 2016, Ashurst formed a partnership with Asia’s global investment bank Nomura, as part of their shared commitment to increase access to law, for students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Each year, Nomura’s in-house legal team support the Access Ashurst work experience programme, by leading a talk on life as an in-house lawyer and participating in a ‘speed networking’ session, aimed at increasing students’ awareness of the range of legal careers available – both within a law firm and an in-house legal team.

Ashurst and Nomura have also partnered, as part of the Legal Social Mobility Partnership (LSMP), an initiative which builds on the success of PRIME and brings together law firms and their commercial clients to provide work insights and skills training for 16-18 year old students from underrepresented backgrounds.

As part of the LSMP, students spend a day at Nomura’s London office, learning about Nomura and the variety of roles an investment bank has to offer, including within the in-house legal and compliance teams. Students are also taken on a tour of Nomura’s London office and take part in a range of workshops and skills sessions, including a compliance/ethics focused case study activity and a debating workshop, which aims to raise students speaking and listening attainment.

When asked about the partnership with Ashurst, Naomi Matthams, Head of Community Affairs, EMEA, Nomura, said:

“I am delighted that Nomura are supporting this initiative. Our employees get a huge amount out of developing a programme of activity and sharing career insights with the young people. We understand the importance of broadening the accessibility of city professions, such as roles within law and hope that these opportunities make a lasting impression on the young people involved.”

Kathleen Fleming from Nomura’s legal team added:

“My colleagues and I thoroughly enjoy hosting the young people each year and highlighting the different opportunities within financial services, with a particular focus on roles in legal and compliance. We all understand the responsibility we have to give back to our local community and hopefully inspire the next generation.”