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Discuss is an exclusive training programme, sponsored by five top City firms and run by Rare, for brilliant students who are interested in City law. The programme is open to students from any discipline in their first year or second year of a four year course at any university. The programme is aimed at students from lower socioeconomic status groups, for example, students who have been in receipt of free schools meals, are the first generation in their family to attend university, or have experienced other forms of social disadvantage.

Competition for vacation scheme places is fiercer than ever. The application and interview process is rigorous. Top law firms use a range of assessments including ability tests, case studies and one-on-one commercial awareness interviews to help them decide who to hire. These assessments measure ability but inevitably, having confidence and social capital gives students an advantage. The programme aims to enable Discuss students to develop their enormous potential.

Participants receive individual support from our expert coaches including Elham Saudi, former Slaughter and May lawyer; Melissa Andrewes, former Slaughter and May and Clifford Chance lawyer; Andrew Lilley, former managing partner of Travers Smith; Julia Barnaby, former associate at Travers Smith and Carly Gilberg, former associate at Allen & Overy and Graduate Recruitment Manager at Herbert Smith Freehills. In these sessions, students will be challenged to enhance their knowledge of and ability to talk about complex commercial, economic and political issues in a confident manner. These sessions will prepare you, not just for the application and interview process, but for a successful career in commercial law.

Participants will also attend a series of group sessions which will introduce participants to the skills and knowledge required to be a successful commercial lawyer. The group sessions will take place at the offices of the five participating firms. These sessions will involve partners, associates, trainees and members of the graduate recruitment teams from the firms, providing students with exceptional networking and learning opportunities. The group sessions include case study exercises, debates, a pitch activity and sessions on application and interview skills.

All candidates who apply for the Discuss programme will also be considered for our Legal Foundations programme. Find out more about it here.

All travel expenses will be paid.

The programme is very competitive and the grade requirements are strict. You will need AAB or equivalent at A-Level, or at least 34 IB points. We will take into account contextual information and mitigating circumstances. Interested students should apply between 25 September and 31 November 2017.

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