Macfarlanes announces launch of innovative training scholarship in partnership with Brunel University London

31 October 2022

Macfarlanes is excited to announce the launch of the Macfarlanes training scholarship, a unique programme developed within the firm and delivered in partnership with Brunel Law School at Brunel University London. This scholarship has been designed to tackle any socio-economic barriers that discourage talented students from joining the legal profession.

The scholarship will see the firm support three Brunel law students annually – known as Macfarlanes training scholars – through a fully-funded programme from the first year of their law degree onwards.

The expectation is that the scholars will become trainees and then associates with the firm. One innovative feature of the scholarship is that successful scholars are highly likely to become trainees and therefore the scholarship should be seen to be equivalent to the award of a training contract. Trainee numbers are being expanded to accommodate the scholars so there will be no impact on other applicants.

The firm will cover the full cost of university tuition fees, alongside paid work experience, a paid placement year at the firm, and mentoring from senior lawyers throughout. This significantly reduces the financial burden faced by many socially-mobile graduates when they enter the workplace and gives participants the opportunity to develop their legal knowledge and skills, while building their networks in the profession.

Senior partner, Sebastian Prichard Jones comments: “In common with many organisations, we have been thinking carefully about how best to attract a much broader range of talented students and this targeted programme is one of the concrete steps we have taken. The aim of our programme with Brunel is that through financial support, mentoring and paid work experience at the firm, our scholars will be supported from their first year all the way through to becoming qualified solicitors at the firm, and our partners of the future.”

Commenting on the partnership, Head of Brunel Law School, Professor Arad Reisberg said: “I am excited that Brunel Law School has been selected to partner with Macfarlanes for this innovative and unique new initiative. We pride ourselves on our diverse student body, our strong industry links, and our rich and focused programmes which prepare our graduates for rewarding careers. Our partnership with Macfarlanes will make Brunel Law School an even more attractive place for talented law degree applicants, and I hope it will provide a template for how universities and the private sector should work together.”

Graduate recruitment lead at Macfarlanes, Catherine Morgan-Guest adds: “As a firm with roots firmly planted in the City, we were keen to partner with a London university. After a lengthy process we decided to partner with Brunel, as they share the same ambitions and goals as us for training talented students and preparing them to enter the workplace with an overall focus on employability. We are really looking forward to working with them on this exciting programme.”

Further to this and available to students more broadly, the firm has also launched the Macfarlanes bursary. This is a financial support package open to undergraduates attending any UK university and studying any discipline. Support includes grants to cover access to technology, and funding for the costs of missing work or paying for accommodation when attending a Macfarlanes event.