UK: Kennedys launches virtual work experience programme

Kennedys, with offices in Belfast and Dublin, has launched a virtual work experience programme in an effort to ensure the widest possible pool of would-be lawyers can get a taste of legal life.

The new virtual programme is being introduced as part of the firm’s commitment to making access to the law as widely available as possible. It has already seen over 2,000 students sign up to the programme, compared to the 120 places that are usually available for in-person work experience.

The programme, which is open to students and graduates from a legal or non-legal background, consists of four modules. It requires the participants to complete a variety of tasks including preparing a witness statement, leaving a voice mail for a client, and undertaking legal research.

Kennedys expect that by the end of the programme the student will have gained legal analytical skills, developed a legal knowledge of the insurance industry, and learned critical legal communication, research and drafting skills.

Caroline Wilson, HR director at Kennedys, said: “In this new world we are now working in, this programme is a fantastic way to open up access to everyone and move on from the traditional on-site work experience.

“Students often feel under pressure to buy traditional office clothes which they might not be able to afford or perhaps have to travel long distances to come into the office, which can be overwhelming.

“Instead, students from any school, college or university can undertake real-life tasks that
our junior lawyers complete.”

Suzanne Liversidge, managing partner at Kennedys, said: “I am passionate about the diversity and inclusion agenda and this programme underscores our commitment to drive that forward. We want to make Kennedys accessible to as many people as possible.

“This year has presented many challenges and it became apparent early on that one of them would be running our work experience programme. We could have chosen to not run one this year, but we felt it was important to find a way to ensure that we still provided a programme but via an innovative and different way.

“Moving from a traditional workplace experience model to an entirely virtual programme provides anyone, anywhere, access to this excellent learning opportunity. All you need is Wi-Fi and we will welcome you into Kennedys for the day.”

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