UK Legal – Linklaters Announces Launch of Unique Partnership with Hackney schools

9 November 2007 LAWFUEL – UK Legal Newswire – The Linklaters Hackney Schools Programme: Linking work with learning

Linklaters announces the launch of the Linklaters Hackney Schools Programme – a ground-breaking volunteering initiative between the firm and every primary and secondary school in Hackney. The ambitious programme, the first of its kind, is designed to develop the employability skills and raise the aspirations of students across the borough.

It is the first time that a law firm has embarked on a project on such a scale. Linklaters volunteers will be working with all 76 schools in Hackney, via the borough’s education authority The Learning Trust (Hackney Authority) and with Inspire (Education Business Partnership).

The programme will be officially launched on 13 November at a reception at Linklaters, to coincide with National Pro Bono Week 2007 (12-17 November), and National Enterprise Week (12-18 November). Heath Monk, Chief Executive of Future Leaders, will give a keynote speech at the event, which will highlight the volunteering opportunities within the programme.

These include a series of innovative reading, writing and debating challenges, organised with Words Unite – a borough-wide “Get Hackney Reading” campaign initiated by The Learning Trust. Other opportunities include professional development opportunities for teachers; the development of classroom resources; mentoring; work experience placements; and employability and enterprise events. One such enterprise event – a Dragon’ s Den competition between Hackney secondary school students – will be taking place at Linklaters on 14 November 2007.

The reception will also celebrate the commitment shown by the firm’s current outstanding volunteers, who have been supporting a range of other community investment initiatives throughout the year. This will include the presentation of awards celebrating the volunteering efforts of people within Linklaters over the past 12 months. The winners will each receive £1,000 cheques, to be donated to the organisations that proposed them.

Simon Davies, Linklaters managing partner elect, said:

“Linklaters is proud to be associated with this unique initiative, which I will be personally leading within the firm. It really is a fresh approach to how business and education can work together. Over the past five years, there has been a steady improvement in educational standards in Hackney and we have the capacity to support that further through ‘linking work with learning’ and make a real difference in the employability skills of students in Hackney.”

He added:
“At Linklaters’ offices throughout the world, our pro bono and community investment programme not only supports individuals and communities, but also rewards our own people with invaluable experience and, above all, a new perspective. The programme reflects the firm’s sense of social responsibility and commitment to giving time and value whenever and wherever possible.”

Alan Wood, Director of Children’s Services and Chief Executive of The Learning Trust (Hackney), said:

“This is an excellent opportunity for Linklaters’ volunteers to help Hackney pupils build up their skills and confidence. “These programmes open up a world of possibility for them by showing the link between education, achievement and a professional life some may not have experienced first hand. I think both pupils and volunteers will broaden their horizons and benefit greatly.”

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