Macfarlanes Legal Academy

The MLA is a programme for sixth form and college students from socially mobile backgrounds looking to learn more about a career in a commercial City law firm.

We are signatories to PRIME, a commitment by the legal profession to provide fair access to high quality work experience to students from less advantaged backgrounds. Through the MLA, we strive to provide access to both work experience and mentorship to the participants; this holistic approach provides the participants an insight into the legal profession and hones the skills needed to get there.

What it includes

The MLA is a combination of work experience, mentoring and workshops. The main structure of the progamme is split across two years:

Year 12

  • Virtual preparation sessions: we understand that coming into an office for perhaps the first time can be a daunting experience. We will run sessions prior to the work experience on what to expect and practical advice that can help you prepare for your week at Macfarlanes.
  • A work experience week (February half-term 2025): the week will give you an opportunity to learn more about the legal profession and work on some of the key skills it takes to be a lawyer. For those traveling from outside of London, accommodation will be provided. We will also reimburse travel costs for the week.
  • Meeting your mentor: we will introduce you to your mentors during your work experience week. From then on, we hope participants will set up catch-ups with their mentors to utilise their knowledge and experience.

Year 13

  • Continued mentoring: we will encourage students to continue reaching out to their mentors throughout year 13.
  • Workshop day: we will host a workshop day in October half-term 2024 which will work on practical skills including networking and interviews.
  • Virtual wrap-up session: to mark the end of the programme, we will host a wrap up session virtually following the end of exams in summer 2025.


It is important to note that you must have permission from a parent or guardian to take part in the MLA. Your February half term must also fall on the 12 – 16 February 2024 to apply as this is when the work experience will take place.

Participants must meet certain criteria to apply for the MLA. It is open to students who attend, and have always attended, a state-funded, non-fee-paying school/college, plus one or more of the following:

  • have been, or are currently, in local authority care;
  • be in receipt of/have received free school meals, Pupil Premium, Education Maintenance Allowance and/or 16 to 19 bursary;
  • be/have been a full-time or part-time carer;
  • have refugee or asylum seeker status;
  • the occupation of your main household earner is categorised as a routine or manual occupation;
  • be attending a state school or college with:
    • below average A-Level or Higher point score and/or
    • low rate of progression to higher education; or
    • have grown up in a household where no parent or guardian attended university.

You can find out more regarding the eligibility, you can visit the PRIME website.

Please email earlylegalcareers@macfarlanes should you have any questions on this.

The application process

We will be reopening our applications in Autumn 2024. Please email if you wish to be informed when applications open.