Social mobility

We have taken an innovative approach to social mobility at Macfarlanes with our Early Legal Careers (ELC) team delivering award-winning student outreach programmes.

The Macfarlanes bursary and training scholarship programme

Our award-winning bursary and scholarship programme expand our reach to those from socially-mobile backgrounds. We have designed the bursary to account for the financial demands of being a university student and prospective trainee solicitor. There are three grants available: a technology grant, an accommodation grant, and a participation grant.

Through our scholarship programme, the firm is supporting three Brunel University law students annually – known as Macfarlanes training scholars – through a fully-funded programme from the first year of their law degree onwards. We 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.

Macfarlanes Legal Academy

The Macfarlanes legal academy (MLA) is a programme for sixth form and college students from socially-mobile backgrounds who would like to learn more about working in City law. The programme runs over two years and is a combination of work experience, mentorship and workshops. The MLA also provides freely available guidance, materials and exercises designed to help students build the skills they need if they are considering a career in law.

Find more information on the MLA.

Social mobility index

The Employer Index is the leading authority on employer-led social mobility. It is an important bench-marking initiative that ranks Britain’s employers on the actions they are taking to ensure they are open to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds. In 2023, we were delighted to be recognised as a Top 25 Employer, moving 30 places in the rankings to number 23 in relation to our social mobility efforts.