Progress for PRIME: Chair Cheffings Commits to Change

To help further social mobility in the legal profession and facilitate high quality work experience opportunities for young people from less privileged backgrounds, the PRIME Board has agreed to implement a number of new initiatives, including a contextualised recruitment system (CRS), a new Best Practice Guide for members, and an improved website experience for students, teachers, parents and members.

The PRIME Board, led by Chairman Nicholas Cheffings and following consultation with members, will invest in a Contextualised Recruitment System tool which will hardwire social mobility metrics into the PRIME application process, giving members confidence that valued work experience placements continue to be offered to candidates who most closely meet PRIME’s target audience and criteria. Having CRS in place will re-assure applicants that their economic background and personal circumstances are taken into account when applying for work experience placements.

Linked to these new measures will be a new Best Practice Guide for members, to ensure a consistent and high quality experience for PRIME participants. In addition, PRIME is investing in improving the functionality, navigation and content of its website to provide greater information and support to teachers, students, parents and PRIME members.

PRIME is an alliance of 80 law firms and legal departments across the UK which has made a commitment to broaden access to the legal profession. The PRIME Board has recently appointed two new members to help it achieve its goals: Binda Patel, Head of Programmes & Partnerships at The Sutton Trust, and Ty Jones, Director of CSR & Engagement at global legal business DWF, increasing regional representation on the PRIME Board.

Commenting on the latest developments, PRIME Chair Nicholas Cheffings said:

“PRIME has achieved great success to date, but there is still so much to be done to improve social mobility in the legal profession. The introduction of CRS and website improvements are important investments for PRIME which we believe will really help shift the needle and result in PRIME reaching more candidates across the UK. This progress will benefit members, students, parents and teachers alike.

“With over 80 law firms from around the UK collaborating to provide fairer access to the legal profession, our members contribute a broad range of views, experiences and perspectives which are now better matched and represented at Board level with the addition of our new members. Working together with members and our teacher and alumni advisory committees I am confident that we can continue to develop and grow the reach and impact of PRIME.”

PRIME Board members:

  • Annette Byron, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Nicholas Cheffings, Hogan Lovells – Chair
  • Patricia Christias, Microsoft
  • Bill Drummond, Brodies
  • Ty Jones, DWF
  • Janet Legrand, DLA Piper
  • Binda Patel, The Sutton Trust.
  • Julie Randles, HE Access Network
  • Chris White, Aspiring Solicitors