“Coming from a less well known university I was expecting to feel out of my depth but I was proven wrong”.
Katy Beresford, Graduate Development Specialist, Clifford Chance, writes a guest blog for University Alliance to reveal more about the exclusive University Alliance open day at the prestigious law firm.
At Clifford Chance we believe in providing opportunities for people based on merit, regardless of background – to ensure that there are no barriers to equality of opportunity. We believe that background should neither be a barrier to the legal profession nor to a successful career at Clifford Chance.
For us, the benefits of recruiting diversely are clear – a diverse workforce is essential to the future success of our business. Our commitment to recruiting diversely is more than just a sound bite. We have taken decisive action, and a lot of it! We removed the use of application forms in the interview process to ensure candidates are measured on their talent, rather than their background. We have broadened our reach, visiting more universities than ever before (we will be physically visiting in excess of 37 universities in 2014/15 and will work with over 50!). We’ve improved our use of social media to reach the broadest cross-section of students and increased the levels of financial assistance we can provide.
In striving to attract the best university talent, regardless of background, we have introduced a series of Open Days that candidates can apply for by submitting 250 words and their CV. We are hoping that the six open days where 50 candidates are invited to our office (with all travel expenses covered), will generate more diverse training contract applicants. These days give students the chance to interact fully with Clifford Chance, through practice area-led case studies, Graduate Recruitment sessions, personal impact coaching and a lunch with current trainees.
We strive to go beyond the usual information overload, and instead seek to impart the inclusive attitude we embody to the students to create an inspiring” day which gives a significant insight into the complex yet rewarding lives of a magic circle law firm by ‘ensuring the focus is on you, not just as a graduate, but as a professional’.
The exclusive University Alliance Open Day held in June 2014 invited top Law students from 22 of the most innovative and entrepreneurial universities in the UK and certainly seemed to achieve our aims. In the words of one University Alliance Open day attendee “if you ever have the opportunity to attend an Open Day at Clifford Chance, I would say grab hold of it with both hands. It is the best thing I have ever done”.
We look forward to doing it all over again in 2015!