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10 minutes

Championing Change with Clyde & Co

14 December, 2021

Bright Network and Clyde & Co’s award-winning partnership started 5 years ago, and in that time we have worked together to take great strides in redefining what the law sector can offer, in particular making it more accessible to underrepresented groups. Through the partnership, Clyde & Co sought to:

  • Increase applications from underrepresented groups
  • Increase brand awareness within groups that may not consider law
  • Educate and engage young talent

In order to put these goals into action and champion diversity and inclusion, Clyde & Co have transformed their approach to finding young talent. Clyde & Co ran focus groups to allow for a better understanding of the challenges faced by underrepresented students and graduates, and how to support them in securing a role in the law sector. This is in addition to Clyde & Co having a platform to share advice for aspiring lawyers, using the Bright Network Academy to support our members in building commercial awareness in the law sector. Adopting a data-led approach through Bright Network’s Talent Tracker tool has also been paramount to understanding the industry’s recruitment landscape and providing insights and bespoke feedback on their campaigns - that is, which messages and content are resonating and which might need optimisation.

Our partnership with Clyde & Co has not only driven decisive action to change the law sector for underrepresented groups, but it has also generated direct results for the law firm: 

  • 64% of Clyde & Co’s 2020 trainees were from Bright Network’s diverse membership
  • Across all of their engagement, 63% were from black or minority ethnic background
  • Of the 1,138 applications for their vacation scheme in 2020, 60% were female, 45% state-educated, 36% of ethnic minority, 10% identified as LGBTQ+, and 6% declared a disability.
  • We saw a 148% year-on-year increase in views on their vacancies or schemes in 2020

In order to truly embed this partnership into Clyde & Co’s wider diversity and inclusion work, there is special focus on the firm’s Bright Futures Programme. The Bright Futures programme is a nine-month course which offers first-year law students and penultimate-year non-law students the opportunity to gain an insight into life at Clyde & Co. It is aimed at candidates who are from lower socioeconomic status - defined as those that received free school meals between the ages of 11-16, have grown up in a household where no parent/guardian had attended university, or have experience of another form of social disadvantage.

Bright Futures complements the wider activity and provides ongoing coaching, mentoring and structured development opportunities. As part of the programme, participants have a trainee buddy and associate mentor from the firm, providing an opportunity to ask any questions throughout the nine months and ongoing mentoring.

These results are just a small portion of the continued long-term strategy we are working on with Clyde & Co as part of their partnership with Bright Network. As we enter a ‘new normal’ after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to ensure that leading companies such as Clyde & Co are creating accessible and inclusive recruitment processes and working environments for the young talent of tomorrow. 

“Working with Bright Network is a breath of fresh air and the energy they provide is like rocket fuel. Bright Network have helped Clyde & Co break down barriers to attract and retain the most diverse future leaders for the firm.” 

- Aisling Barnes, Early Careers Recruitment Manager