The Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) is a unique scholarship programme, designed to address key barriers to the solicitors’ profession faced by those from less advantaged backgrounds.
Through the DAS, we’re able to support talented, aspiring solicitors to pursue their legal education and careers through:
- Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) scholarships
- Work experience
The 2022 application period will be open from 23 February to 20 April 2022.
To automatically be eligible for DAS, an applicant must fulfil the criteria in 1.1 and 1.2 below:
1.1 Applicants will be required to confirm the following statements:
a) They do not have access to familial loans or financial gifts;
b) They do not have more than £5,000 in their savings account, current account, ISA or held elsewhere.
1.2 Applicants must confirm at least two of the following statements:
a) They attended a non-fee paying school;
b) They are part of the first generation in their family to attend higher education;
c) They were eligible for free school meals whilst at school.
If an applicant does not fulfil the criteria above, they may still be eligible to apply for DAS if they meet the criteria in 1.3 below (note: if you do fulfil the requirements in 1.1 and 1.2 above you do not need to additionally show that you meet 1.3).
1.3 An applicant may be eligible if they have faced or will face exceptional circumstances to pursue their studies and career ambitions as a result of one or more of the following:
• cultural background
• health problems
• gender identity
• or other challenging personal circumstances
Please see section (4) on page 4 of this document for guidance and details of
1.4 Applicants must also confirm that they are:
a) Capable of and committed to a career as a solicitor in England and Wales; and
b) Seeking to start the Legal Practice Course on a full time or part time basis in Autumn 2022 or January/February 2023 or start the Solicitors Qualifying Exam preparation course in Autumn 2022 or January/February 2023 and/or sit the SQE (part one) before the end of the academic year 2023.
- Applications to the Diversity Access Scheme must be made by completing the online application form in full.
- The online application form will be available on the Law Society website from midday on Wednesday 23 February 2022.
- Only where there are extenuating circumstances will we accept a request to submit an application to the DAS via email, using a word/pdf copy of the application form. If you require a word/pdf copy of the form, please contact us setting out your situation [email protected]
- Completed applications must be submitted by midnight on Wednesday 20 April 2022.
- No extenuating circumstances whatsoever will be considered for the submission of late applications so you should make sure you send your application in good time.
- Receipt of applications will be acknowledged by email.
- It will not be possible to amend applications in any way once submitted except in order to update contact details.
- You will be informed whether or not you have been shortlisted by 20 June. Please do not to follow up before then.
- If you are shortlisted you will be invited to an assessment and an interview with a selection panel before a final decision is made.
Interview and Assessment Arrangements
- If shortlisted, you must be available to attend your scheduled assessment and interview (lasting around 30 minutes) with the judging panel via Microsoft Teams between 14 – 16 July 2022. If you are unable to attend the interview you will be withdrawn from the process and no extenuating circumstances will be considered.
- Please let us know in advance if you have accessibility requirements.
- Please ensure you have access to the relevant technology.
- You will be required to provide contact details for two referees on the application form but should not send references themselves at any stage.
- At least one of your referees should be for an academic or professional contact, such as a teacher or employer, who can confirm that you possess the characteristics and attributes of a solicitor, including
- the ability to solve problems and present clearly and
- a wish to serve the wider community.
- You may ask a family member, friend or other personal contact to act as a referee where it supports your application, for example, where you have acted as their carer or where you have acted as a volunteer.
- If shortlisted, you will be required to scan and email photographic identification and evidence to support the circumstances detailed in your application including qualification certificates, three months’ worth of bank statements, proof of benefits entitlement and LPC/SQE or training contract offer letters.
- You will be advised of the final decision by 5pm on Monday 25 July 2022. Please do not follow up before this time.
Click here for more information and how to apply.