Break into Law is DLA Piper's global initiative focused on removing barriers to employment within the legal profession.

Adopting a holistic approach, our aim is to use our strength as a leading global law firm to ensure underrepresented young people have access to career opportunities within our industry and gain key employability skills through a series of projects utilizing our resources and experience.

The lack of diversity in the legal profession is an issue which is ubiquitous across countries, cultures and continents. As a leading global business law firm, we understand that we have a responsibility and moral obligation to change this. We have the resources and strength to lead the way in improving access to the profession for future generations.

Equality, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to our business and are key components of DLA Piper's vision and values. We are defined by our people and are committed to recruiting, developing and retaining the highest calibre of professionals. We believe that fostering diversity and equality allows us to acquire the most talented people, to build the most effective teams for our clients and deliver the highest level of service.

Break into Law is DLA Piper's global initiative focused on removing barriers to the wide range of legal and non-legal careers within the legal profession. In every region around the world, we are using our resources and the skills of our people to ensure underrepresented young people have the opportunity to gain access and insight into the legal industry and career progression within it.

Understanding the issue

Break into Law has been developed in response to the extensive research and reports which demonstrate that law is one of the most socially exclusive professions. Lack of diversity is an issue which is ubiquitous in the legal profession globally, although it manifests itself in different ways at local levels. Therefore we must consider factors such as gender, geographic location, ethnic background and socioeconomic status, as these all impact pay, career opportunity and career development.

Understandably, for many young people the legal sector is viewed as a career path which is not available to them. Entering the profession is deemed difficult and expensive. Those from lower socioeconomic groups in particular face greater financial barriers, as the training stages required to enter the profession are often costly. Employment in the legal industry requires an individual to have access to a good education, the support needed to succeed, the motivation to complete their studies, support networks and an understanding of how to pursue a professional career.

The Break into Law initiative involves a variety of projects including mentoring, work experience, CV and interview skills workshops, research, thought leadership events and scholarships. Improving equality, diversity and inclusion within the legal profession is a significant global priority for DLA Piper and Break into Law enables us to communicate our collective impact on this key issue within our sector.

Break into Law begins with projects that improve access to education for young people, moving through to initiatives that provide an insight into and experience of our industry, directly linking into our firm's diversity priorities. The projects offer guidance and opportunities to talented, bright, young people who may not otherwise be able to access employment opportunities in the legal sector.

Break into Law objectives

  • Identify and address barriers that prevent talented young people from being able to access a career within the legal sector
  • Highlight job opportunities and careers available within the legal profession to young people from any background
  • Improve accessibility to the legal profession
  • Contribute to DLA Piper's internal diversity initiatives, helping the firm to attract the best talent and lead on diversity and inclusion in our sector
  • Lead our industry on tackling diversity and social mobility issues through communicating and sharing our research and providing thought leadership on the topic

Every one of our offices at DLA Piper will contribute to Break into Law. These pages set out the different initiatives our people, other organisations and/or schools can get involved with.