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The Accutrainee Scholarship: Take Action, Make A Difference

8 years of removing barriers

At Accutrainee, diversity has never been an initiative or something we do alongside our core business. Diversity IS our business. In 2012 when we created our model, a training solution to remove existing barriers and give solicitors another way to qualify, we did this driven by the need to diversify the trainee pool, to create opportunities for great graduates in a market where it seemed increasingly hard to do so. At the same time, we wanted to ensure legal services providers had access to this diverse talent pool. From these two market forces, Accutrainee was born.

And in the past 8 years we have helped over 100 trainees to qualify as solicitors. Our track record for diversity is solid with 38% of our current cohort identifying as BAME and 65% of candidates who come from outside of the Russell Group.

But we can and need to do better.

We need to take action urgently. And we all need to be part of this.

Diversity matters

We could devote this entire blog to the importance of diversity in business. Variety of perspective, higher innovation, better decision-making, increased creativity, reduced employee turnover, better company regulation, improved hiring results, higher employee engagement all leading to increased profits – just some of the benefits to workplace diversity.

Diversity matters.

Yet we continue to battle against a lack of diversity in the legal profession.

As with all change, approaching diversity and inclusion in a meaningful way can feel overwhelming, especially for smaller legal service businesses or in-house legal departments. Where do you start with action?

But if we all, as members of the legal profession, commit to do just one thing, there is such power in collective action, in the little and often. We all have a responsibility and the power to use our business privilege and platform to help create a more diverse legal profession.

A lot of the businesses we speak with at Accutrainee are under pressure to do more with less. As always, we wanted to remove barriers and make it easy for legal leaders to do their part. So over the past months, we have been proudly working up our new scholarship programme which enables sponsors to easily support diversity and inclusion in the legal industry whilst having access to exceptional diverse talent.

Introducing the Accutrainee Scholarship Programme

Our new scholarship programme is more than work experience. It has been created to offer deserving candidates from minority backgrounds the opportunity to have their solicitor examinations paid for whilst gaining the necessary work experience in an in-house legal department or a law firm to help them achieve their dream of becoming a qualified solicitor. Our law firm and in-house legal department sponsors contribute to the cost of SQE fees and exams and for the placement of a highly talented and motivated legal resource, who is fully supported by Accutrainee’s quality development programme. In other words, we’ll take care of all the training, mentoring and regulatory requirements, so our sponsoring law firms and in-house teams can benefit from highly motivated and diverse trainees.

Our training programme is so successful, a huge percentage of our clients decide to keep their Accutrainees on once qualified. So this is an investment in talent for the long term.

FinTech Focus

Whilst the programme is designed to run across all sectors, we have an initial focus on FinTech. As one of the fastest-growing regulated sectors, it is one that attracts a lot of interest from potential trainees. It is also one we align with at Accutrainee as a company looking to drive change in a traditional industry. Through working in this disruptive market, candidates will gain skills in modern financial and tech regulation, which will equip them with strong core skills from the outset to ensure they become the business partners of the future of this fast-growth sector. And sponsors who offer candidates the opportunity to work for their legal departments will benefit from all the commercial advantages whilst supporting diversity in legal.

2021 Launch

We are excited to get our first scholarship underway in 2021. Our programme will only be as successful as the support we are given by participating law firms and in-house legal departments, so this is our call to arms to law firm and in-house legal leaders. Take one small, but meaningful action and invest in our scholarship programme to make a significant difference to our scholars.

Will you join Accutrainee and help us create a more equal and diverse profession with opportunities for all in 2021?

Let’s take action and make a difference together.

Susan Cooper

CEO and Founder, Accutrainee

Further information

If you would like to know more about becoming a sponsor, we would love to hear from you. Contact our founder Susan Cooper on

If you would like to apply to be one of our Accutrainee scholars, please visit our career page where you will find more details about the programme and eligibility.

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Cass Alumna Wins Prestigious “The Lawyer” Award

Congratulations to CEO and founder of Accutrainee and Cass alumna Susan Cooper (EMBA 2010) on winning “Most Innovative Collaboration with In-House Legal Teams” at The Lawyer Business Leadership Awards 2015.

Accutrainee bridges the gap between graduates, the provision of training contracts and the legal profession, both law firms and in-house legal teams by providing training contracts and then seconding out the trainees. They took on their first trainees in July 2012 after a lengthy process with the legal regulatory body, which was necessary to approve their completely novel approach.

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LBC Wise Counsel/LexisNexis Grow your own – 10 advantages of trainee solicitors in an in-house legal team

In this article Paul Gilbert, Chief Executive of LBC Wise Counsel, explores the opportunity for in-house teams to recruit and manage trainee solicitors as part of the mix of resources within the in-house team.

In 1999 I was General Counsel for the mortgage lender Cheltenham & Gloucester (C&G). We had a reasonably big team of about twenty lawyers. However we wanted to recruit one or two more lawyers to cope with the expansion of the business and the legal work that was being created as a result. We went to the market through traditional means, but we were disappointed not to find candidates who “got” the in-house role or who were affordable.

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Agency heralds revolutionary approach to solicitors training contracts

Fans say the scheme offers better value for law firms, without sacrificing quality for prospective young lawyers.

Solicitors’ training contracts are viewed by many as arcane as the days when they were known as articles of clerkship — but a changing legal profession landscape has encouraged some to take a revolutionary approach to the system.

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Legal Business: In-house analysis “Lessons Learned”

While the in-house profession has come of age, the number of home-grown trainees remains tiny. Legal Business assesses
whether in-house teams should lessen their reliance on law firm-schooled staff.

Despite talk of radical changes to legal education and burgeoning in-house legal teams in blue-chip organisations, there has been no real breakthrough in a mainstream plc route to qualification.

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Lawyer2B: Accutrainee secures first training contract recruit

Accutrainee has agreed its first training contract for an aspiring lawyer, at an undisclosed Top 20 law firm.

Flora Hussey is the first trainee to be recruited by Accutrainee and began her training contract this summer at London-based New Quadrant Partners, a boutique private client legal practice and advisory service.

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Law Society Gazette: Accutrainee welcomes first recruit

A groundbreaking scheme that finds trainees and seconds them to law firms on a temporary basis has welcomed its first recruit. Flora Hussey has become the first trainee to sign up to Accutrainee since it was launched last September.

Trainees are taken on by Accutrainee but are seconded to law firms and in-house legal departments, usually more than once, during their training contract. The idea is to enable firms to give trainees experience at a fraction of the cost of a traditional two-year training contract.

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Lawyer2B: Accutrainees first qualifiers land NQ jobs

The first two people to go through the Accutrainee program have landed newly qualified jobs with firms they were placed with.

Flora Hussey has taken up an associate role at London private client boutique New Quadrant Partners, while Simon Latham has joined US litigation shop Hausfeld & Co.

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The Lawyer: Fledgling training model off to a flying start

More than 400 aspiring lawyers have signed up to the radical new training model Accutrainee since its launch in September 2011.

To date the revolutionary training business has had four organisations commit to the programme, which incorporates a combination of in-house departments and law firms, including Olswang.

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Guardian: Can a cut-price traineeship ever be a good deal for a wannabe lawyer?

For the lucky ones who get jobs with the top firms, the life of a rookie lawyer is a charmed one. Not only do the likes of Allen & Overy – where Prince Harry’s ex, Chelsy Davy, began work as a trainee solicitor earlier this month – cover their graduate recruits’ hefty law school fees, but they pay them around £40,000 while they complete on-the-job “training contracts”. At which point, as fully fledged lawyers, their salaries rocket to £60,000-plus.

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Times online: New scheme to offer outsourced trainee lawyers

Medium and small firms struggling to provide training contacts will soon be able to recruit trainees under a revolutionary new trainee-solicitor agency scheme.

The scheme is launched today by Acculaw and is the first to be authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to take on trainees.

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Law Gazette: New solicitor training model could shake up the City

A groundbreaking solicitor training model has launched this week, targeting City law firms and in-house legal departments.

The first non-legal service provider to be authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to take on trainees, Acculaw claims it will cut costs and improve efficiency for firms looking to find future lawyers.