What is LSMP?

The LSMP is dedicated to broadening access to the solicitor profession by delivering work insight and skills training and ongoing alumni support to secondary state school students who will be the first generation in their immediate family to attend university or are (or have been) eligible for free school meals.

The LSMP starts with a week of intensive skills training coupled with work insights. In this week, students visit four different blue chip companies (including, amongst others, Microsoft, Manchester City, Viacom, American Express, Yeo Valley, Amazon, BT, Aviva, Barclays and adidas), with a final day spent with a professional sports team (including Harlequins, Leeds Rhinos, Brighton Hove Albion FC, Bristol Sport, Wasps and Manchester United) learning about the psychology of resilience and goal achievement models.

LSMP then provides a full service alumni offering, the cornerstone of which is the offer of virtual coaching in perpetuity through its unique partnership with Aspiring Solicitors. As part of this offering, LSMP alumni can draw on the experience of solicitors in the AS Professional Ambassador Network for advice on the composition of their CVs/Personal Statements, completion of application forms and preparation for university and job interviews.

How do I get involved? (students and schools)

LSMP does not have a central application route for eligible students wishing to participate. We try to avoid competing for participants or reinventing the wheel by working with the following organisations to enhance existing outreach programmes:

  • Sutton Trust Pathways to Law
  • PRIME
  • Teach First
  • In to University
  • BLD
  • Young Asian Social Enterprise
  • Speakers for Schools
  • Learn to Work
  • Pure Potential
There are however some towns and cities which are not covered by these programmes and in these situations we look to partner with the local education body (e.g. in Brighton) to start a cluster. Hence if you think your town or city could benefit from its own LSMP cluster please go to the contact tab on this website and get in touch.

How do I get involved? (law firms and companies)

We are always looking to expand the geographic reach of the LSMP. All existing partners recognise the importance of identifying talent from up and down the UK irrespective of where they practice given their future employee base will not be solely sourced from the town or city in which their place of business is located.

The LSMP prides itself on its flexibility and has three models for company and law firm participation:

1. PRIME Gateway: Law firms affiliated to the PRIME commitment 'buddy up' with a client and offer students on their PRIME week-long scheme the opportunity to join a LSMP Work Insight & Skills Week which features their client.

2.Private Practice/Client Co-delivery: Law firms 'buddy up' with their client to co-deliver a day in a LSMP Work Insight & Skills Week.

3.In-house Solo: In-house teams provide days without panel firm involvement.

A LSMP Work Insight & Skills Week can include a mixture of these participation models.

The LSMP is based around a cluster model with one organisation taking the lead (as Cluster Head) in each city on a voluntary basis to keep costs to a minimum. In summary the Cluster Head is responsible for identifying students, organising student travel between the various organisations and ensuring the content of each day of the week is complimentary and not repetitive. The LSMP central logistics team (comprised of volunteers at ITV plc) provide support to the Cluster Heads and assist with identifying budget to help with travel costs outside of London.

If you are interested in creating your own cluster in your city or town, please go to the contact tab on this website and get in touch.

How does the LSMP fit in with PRIME? Is it a separate initiative?

PRIME is a kite mark standard for the provision of work experience by private practice law firms to non-privileged school-aged students. The LSMP is a standalone initiative which can amplify a PRIME certified week through additional exposure to multiple in-house teams and the world of professional sport and ongoing alumni support.

How did the LSMP come about?

The original idea for the LSMP stemmed from a successful joint work experience initiative run by ITV and Slaughter & May in 2013 and ITV's realisation that multiple in-house teams were also engaged with their panel firms on work experience that met the PRIME criteria. Building on this successful pilot, a model for structured work insight and skills placements for secondary school pupils involving a week at in-house legal teams and a professional sports club and ongoing alumni support developed. ITV was the catalyst to bring together the in-house organisations to create what is now the LSMP. Law firms Olswang, Arnold & Porter and Bird & Bird and client organisations Yahoo!, Microsoft and Viacom, signed up to the model in 2014. Harlequins RFC then agreed to come on board to provide a day of resilience training to students, and with that the LSMP was born!

What do the students actually do on the LSMP?

The groups of students from different schools come together to form a cluster and spend a day at four different businesses and a day at a professional sports club. Where the students spend time depends on the cluster they are in. For instance, students who form the Manchester cluster will spend their week as follows: day 1 at The Co-operative Bank, day 2 at Manchester United Foundation & Wigan Warriors, day 3 at ITV, day 4 at Manchester City and day 5 at adidas.

The students will also receive workshops on a range of skills delivered by other businesses that support the programme, including: OPP, LexisNexis, The Blair Partnership, Curious Consultancy and Buzzacott LLP.

The week of work insight and skills training is designed to be as hands-on and immersive as possible; students are not merely brought in to watch other people working – they are set realistic tasks and challenges and also participate in workshops to develop their employability skills. These include written and oral communication, interviewing, influencing, presenting, resilience, negotiation and networking.

Beyond the week of experience, LSMP then provides a full service alumni offering, the cornerstone of which is the offer of virtual coaching in perpetuity through its unique partnership with Aspiring Solicitors; as part of this offering LSMP alumni can draw on the experience of solicitors in the AS Professional Ambassador Network for advice on the composition of their CVs/Personal Statements, completion of application forms and preparation for university and training contract interviews.

What do Harlequins, Bristol Sport, Brighton & Hove Albion, Wasps, Manchester United, Manchester City, Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos have to do with a career in the law?

Professional sports clubs have a unique perspective on the psychology of resilience and goal achievement which adds an invaluable element to the programme. Led by Mark Soden (Elite Performance Coach) and Jordan Turner Hall (Former Harlequins and England player) they, in partnership with the clubs, take the techniques used to help players understand teamwork, leadership and resilience and morph these in to a toolkit to help students to navigate the challenges of pursuing a career in law.

Summary of LSMP history and programme growth


2014
2015
2016
2017

No. of Students participating

20

106

200+

300+

No. of Schools 4 30 50+ 70+

No. of participating organisations 14 35 52 70+

Key Locations London
London
Manchester
London
Manchester
Leeds
Birmingham
London
Manchester
Leeds
Birmingham
Bristol
Brighton
Reading

Alumni 20 106 126 326+

How have students benefitted so far?

Feedback from the students showed that they definitely benefitted from the programme. In 2016, LSMP students:

  • Confirmed that 94% of them would 'definitely' recommend LSMP to other students.
  • Scored themselves against a matrix of work-related and knowledge skills either side of the programme. After the programme, the average score increased across all skills, particularly: preparing a CV, networking, presentation and negotiating skills and influencing people.
  • Gave an average score of 3.6 out of 4 when asked how useful the programme was for job interview preparation and building workplace skills.
Overall students came away feeling like a career in law was a realistic and attractive option. This will make a big difference in how these students present themselves when they apply for university, work, or anything related to their careers. They also now have blue chip companies and law firms on their CVs, so their applications are certainly going to stand out from the crowd. In addition, the LSMP Alumni network and Aspiring Solicitors partnership has been established which will enable students to access advice and support in the future to help them pursue legal careers if they choose to do so.

Do all the students on the programme want to go into law?

The aim of the programme is to break down social and psychological barriers that stop students from considering a legal career, but this does not mean that only students who want to go into law are accepted on the programme. Overall, the intention is that the students who are most motivated and will get the most out of the programme get a place. Ultimately, even if a participant decides that a career in law is not for them, we consider the programme to have been successful in enabling that student to take informed decisions about their future and improving confidence. Following the programme in 2016, 95% of students stated that they had a good or very good understanding of the legal profession, including the difference between private practice and in-house roles, compared to 41% before.

How is the impact of the programme being measured?

Students are surveyed after their placements to measure the impact of the programme on key indicators such as skills development, legal aspirations and attitudes, wider career goals and overall satisfaction with the programme. See Impact section for further details, click here.

As well as providing opportunities and guidance to students, the LSMP Alumni network is also used to keep in touch with students and track their progress into university and the working world. Since the first cohort of LSMP students are only in their second year at university after finishing school it is too soon to measure whether they have embarked upon legal careers yet.

You’ve grown from 106 students in 2015 to 300+ in 2017. Do you plan to grow it further?

In short, yes – we're really excited that the programme has grown again this year, as we know the students have great weeks lined up. The quality of the experience for students remains key, and so to enable more students to access and engage with the legal profession we want to encourage other law firms and in-house legal teams to replicate our model independently using the templates and plans we've created to ease launching a new cluster. We plan to show firms and companies that even with more students on board, we were able to provide a quality, meaningful programme where students develop work insights and skills.

Why are there so many businesses and firms involved?

Other firms and businesses we spoke to were excited by the initiative and wanted to get involved. As this is a model that can be replicated we have not put a restriction on the number of businesses that could support the programme.

What do the participating organisations get out of it?

  • Access to diverse future talent pool.
  • Opportunity to build and strengthen relationships between private practice and in-house legal teams and a unique opportunity to collaborate with a diverse range of organisations for a collective purpose.
  • Chance for in-house legal departments to collaboratively engage with a social mobility focused work experience initiative which may not have been possible previously due to limited resources.
  • Increase in senior buy-in to CSR initiatives.
  • Maximised links with local state schools (new introductions or enhanced ties).
  • Skill development, team building and morale boost for host teams.

What’s new for 2017?

New 'clusters' in Bristol, Brighton and Reading. As a consequence, the programme has grown by a third, and will reach over 300 students as compared to 212 last year. Over 70 organisations will now be involved.
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