Law firm Michelmores welcomed more than 30, year 9 girls from state schools around Exeter to a special workplace event on Friday 10 November which aimed to introduce them to career opportunities within professional services.
The girls, who are aged 13 and 14 years came from Isca Academy, Clyst Vale Community College, West Exe School, St Lukes Church of England School and St James School. The morning included a workshop on communication skills and confidence with professional business coach and personal development consultant Judy Salmon as well as a talk on early careers opportunities at Michelmores. It concluded with office tours hosted by the Firm’s trainee solicitors, apprentices and placement year students.
Chloe Vernon-Shore, Partner, who helped to host the students said:
“As a Firm we are working hard to make law more accessible. It is an important part of our strategy under one of our core goals: Significance of Impact. This is an area that many of my colleagues feel passionate about. We have recently introduced several initiatives which focus on social mobility and inclusion. These have included revolutionising our recruitment processes by introducing contextual recruitment for our early careers’ roles and ensuring that those from lower socio-economic backgrounds are given the opportunity to apply and succeed at interview; introducing inclusive work experience initiatives and launching our schools’ partnership programme: Momentum.
Our workplace event aimed to support all of this activity and ensure that girls who might not consider a career in professional services were given the opportunity to see what life in a law firm is really like and to inspire them to think about their future career options.”
The morning was coordinated with the support of Empowering Girls Exeter which helps to link year 9 girls from local secondary schools with professional women in the city for a programme of mentoring. Four employees at Michelmores have taken part in the initiative which aims to increase confidence, improve communication skills and provide a clearer sense of direction. Empowering Girls Exeter founder, Sarah Abrahams who attended the workplace event said:
“Michelmores has been a great support to the Empowering Girls project with a number of female colleagues mentoring secondary school girls over the last few years to broaden horizons, raise career aspirations and challenge gender stereotypes. This support was taken to a whole new level by a fantastic workplace visit last week, which offered over 30 13/14 year old girls from across five secondary schools in Exeter an insight into pathways to careers in law.
As part of the session, it was a pleasure to watch the girls grow in confidence, enabled by the carefully curated workshop delivered by Judy Salmon. Chloe and the rest of the Michelmores’ team ignited curiosity in many of the girls who gave positive feedback about the visit and shared a keen interest in exploring a career in law further. Many thanks for the time and effort coordinating this value adding event.”
Of the experience a student from Clyst Vale Community College said:
“Thanks for today I loved it, it really helped me with thinking about what I want to do when I’m older and made me feel more confident.”
To find out more about Michelmores’ work in inclusion and belonging, please visit the Firm’s ESG webpage on the website.