Divido – the world’s largest whitelabel platform for retail finance – is broadening access to the legal profession and Fintech by offering students from underrepresented backgrounds placements in the Divido Legal and Compliance Team.
The ‘Divido and Conquer’ programme will provide students from underrepresented backgrounds in the early part of their legal education access to legal work experience in a leading financial technology company. The programme is designed to give students the confidence to pursue a career in the law and offer them a chance to develop their employability skills in a real-world, cutting edge environment.
The legal profession has never been harder to access for people from underrepresented backgrounds. There are many socio-economic reasons for the historical dominance of certain demographics in the legal profession, which have been exacerbated during the Coronavirus pandemic. Race, gender, religion, sexuality and social status (to name a few) all have a far-reaching and devastating impact on the composition of the legal profession today and very specifically on those people aspiring to a career in the law.
The Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) diversity data shows that only 21% of all lawyers are Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic group. Of this 21%, 15% are Asian, 3% are black, 2% are of mixed or multiple ethnicity and 1% form other ethnic groups. While women make up almost half (49%) of lawyers in law firms and three quarters of the workforce for ‘other legal staff’ according to the SRA data, the underrepresentation of women becomes more apparent at senior levels. Just 29% of women are partners in firms with 50 or more partners. According to SRA data 21% of lawyers attended a fee-paying school compared to 7% of the general population, while a greater proportion of lawyers also have parents with a degree level qualification (51%).
Toby McCrindle, Head of Legal and Compliance, said “Divido is a small company with big ambitions. At our current scale Divido is able to offer one student a paid placement of eight full-time weeks throughout the Summer in 2023, in partnership with Brunel University. Alongside this placement, we can also offer one further student a paid micro-internship for up to forty hours spread across the Summer in 2023, in partnership with Queen Mary University. The micro-internship is designed to support students who cannot give up full time employment during the Summer break in order to undertake work placements, even when paid.”
‘Divido and Conquer’ is designed to benefit the students first and foremost, by giving them exposure to cutting edge legal work in the Fintech space, which we hope will build confidence and enable our students to go out and hunt down the legal careers they want. In return, Divido will benefit from the experience of hosting an ambitious, diverse and energetic cohort of students to complement Divido’s small but mighty team.
In addition to internships, the Divido Legal & Compliance team offers a mentorship scheme to students at Brunel University. Positions for 2023 have been filled.