School of Law

Pathways to Law

In this Section:

Pathways to Law is an innovative £1.5m widening participation initiative to provide opportunities for students from state schools in England who are interested in a career in law and will be first generation attendees at university.

Run by The Sutton Trust, the programme targets students from under-represented backgrounds and provides support throughout years 12 and 13, and beyond into university.

The University of Leeds supports Pathways to Law, along with eleven other higher education institutions and the legal profession.

Our programme delivers a full and varied programme of lectures, seminars, advice and guidance sessions, skill development and interaction with students and professionals through blogs and e-mentoring.

We have thirty-five places in our Leeds Pathways group each year. The programme starts in September of Year 12 and finishes in April of Year 13. If we select you for the programme, we expect you to attend each session and commit to the programme for the full two years.

Pathways to Law at Leeds offers opportunities for students who satisfy most, if not all, of the following criteria ...

  • have at least 5 As or A*s at GCSE
  • are just starting AS studies in Year 12
  • have an interest in studying law and/or law as a career
  • be either the first generation in their family to attend university, or be or have been eligible for Free School Meals
  • are enthusiastic and willing to commit to the programme
  • are studying at a state school or college
  • live within reasonable travelling distance from the University of Leeds i.e. Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield.

University Sessions

These can include lectures by professors, debates and moots (a mock courtroom case where you argue a fictitious legal appeal case in front of a 'judge'), careers sessions, university advice and guidance, and help with presentation and presence skills.


The university will allocate a mentor to you who will be a current law student at Leeds. These mentors understand the pressures of studying A levels and can give you first hand advice and guidance throughout the programme.

Firm Placement

You will participate in a three to five day placement, during the school holidays, with a law firm as part of the programme. You learn about the structure and functions of a law firm, meet a wide variety of people from senior partners through to trainees, and develop your 'soft' skills. The placement provides a valuable experience to include on a university application.

National Conference

We invite all Pathways students to attend the National Conference at the end of their first year on the programme. We hold a three-night residential conference in July each year at the University of Warwick; the experience will give you an idea of university life, and you will meet students from the other Pathways groups.

'Graduation' Ceremony

At the end of your two years on the programme, you will be invited to attend a 'graduation' ceremony to commemorate your participation on Pathways.

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