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Osborne Clarke and Visionpath launch social mobility programme 'The Bridge'

By Karolina Skinner
8 October 2021
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Legal practice Osborne Clarke is announcing a new flagship education and employability programme 'The Bridge,'  in partnership with Visionpath, an organisation which aims to radically improve the career prospects and life chances of young people. 

Designed to create 'The Bridge' between education and employment for young people from underrepresented backgrounds, the new programme will involve long term partnerships with three secondary schools across cities in Osborne Clarke's UK network: Skinner's Academy in London, John Madejski Academy in Reading, and Merchant's Academy in Bristol.

Patrick Philpott, Visionpath's Founder, commented: "With 'The Bridge', we have a great opportunity to make a massive impact on the future prospects of young people in our communities. Research has shown just four interactions with an employer during secondary school can drastically improve a young person's opportunity to succeed. The type of sessions and experiences Osborne Clarke is creating through 'The Bridge' will offer exactly the sort of experience and impact that will make a difference for young people.

"We've chosen our three schools because they have disproportionate levels of disadvantage relative to the communities they are in, compared with national and local benchmarking data. This approach ensures we target our efforts where we can make the biggest impact with those who need our support most." 

While Osborne Clarke has previously held reading schemes and actively supported a range of educational organisations, this is the firm's first holistic schools partnership programme that aims to facilitate access to the legal profession and law firms.

Students will receive: 

• Career insight – volunteers share their career journeys (from school to present day) to inspire students for their future

Diversity events – such as 'women in law' sessions to inspire female students to consider a career in law

Sector insight – interactive sessions for students to learn about the variety of opportunity in the legal sector, including fee-earning and non-legal pathways

Apprenticeship engagement – workshops and programmes to unlock non-university routes into law 

Interview, CV and UCAS support – online surgeries with Osborne Clarke's volunteers providing help and guidance for students to make the right impressions

• One-to-one mentoring – creating relationships between Osborne Clarke mentors and students in need of more direct support to navigate their future choices

About Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke is an international legal practice, with offices situated around Europe, Asia and the USA with 270+ expert partners and 900+ talented lawyers.