Linklaters hosts virtual grand final for Making Links Schools Challenge

Linklaters has held its Making Links School Challenge final virtually for the first time, with 20 selected finalists from 20 schools taking part in a two day-long virtual event.

As part of the firm’s social mobility recruitment initiative and UK schools’ engagement activity, the Making Links Schools Challenge is designed to give UK state-school students currently completing A-Levels (or equivalent) the opportunity to develop skills they need to become the commercial lawyers of the future, whilst also winning prizes for their school and themselves. 

The Schools Challenge, which concluded on 30 April 2020, is aimed at helping young people improve their commercial awareness and presentation skills. Students were asked to answer a question on innovation through a short 500-word essay – submitted topics ranged from Big Data and contactless payments to climate change and social media. 20 students from across the UK were then selected to take part in the virtual grand final.

During the two-day virtual event, the students participated in numerous interactive sessions and prepared a two-minute video presentation providing a summary of their original mini-essay. Four finalists were then chosen to present to a Linklaters panel comprising of David Martin, Global Diversity Partner, Kate Richardson-Moore, Global Head of Talent and Engagement, and Shilpa Bhandarkar, Global Head of Innovation and Nakhoda – where the ultimate winner was decided.

David Martin, Global Diversity & Inclusion Partner at Linklaters, comments:
“We should never underestimate the importance of early opportunities – sometimes they change the course of a life. Improving the diversity of our firm starts with giving young people who might ordinarily miss out on such opportunities, more platforms to develop their skills and confidence.
The Making Links Schools Challenge gives state school students the chance to showcase their talents, and with the aim of encouraging participation from those students from less privileged backgrounds, we want them to see that a career in law is not beyond their reach. Both of these are at the heart of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy.”