Caroline Sharp, Sarah Lynch, Anneka Dawson
11 February 2016
Improving access to the professions is key to promoting social mobility. Launched in September 2011, PRIME is a commitment to ensure fair and equal access to quality work experience in the legal profession for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. NFER is undertaking a robust and independent evaluation of PRIME and has published two reports on its first and second year.
This report provides interim findings from a follow-up study, examining the destinations and career choices of students who took part in the first two years. A total of 213 PRIME participants responded to a survey (26 per cent of those who supplied contact details) and 20 took part in a telephone interview.
- Firms have been successful in helping young people to learn about the legal profession. Ninety-two per cent of the survey respondents felt that the work experience had helped them either a little or a lot. Interviewees said the main benefits were learning about the legal profession and the different aspects of law.
- Young people said their work experience had helped them to understand the relevance of university as a route to a professional career in the legal sector.
- Interviewees said PRIME helped them to develop transferable skills such as communication, team building, networking, and giving presentations.
- However, 67 per cent of survey respondents said they had not had any further contact with the law firms since their work experience. The report recommends that firms identify simple, low-cost methods of keeping in touch with young people who have taken part in PRIME.