Osborne Clarke is proud to have launched its second cohort on the #10000 Black Interns (#10KBI) programme, that aims to improve diversity across the legal sector and other professional services businesses. 

The firm's legal and business services teams welcomed 12 interns across its offices in Bristol, Reading and London for the six-week programme. This year the firm has expanded the programme in a number of ways to enrich the experiences of the interns and give them the best footing possible to pursue a career in professional services.

Client placements

The interns will have the opportunity to experience a range of areas in Osborne Clarke's business.  For example, a legal intern might start out in the firm's London commercial team and finish in the London real estate team. While a business services intern in the marketing team will get a mix of marketing, social media, business development and public relations experience.

Each intern will also have two placements with one of eight clients: ITV, OVO, British Land, Hargreaves Lansdown, Pension Protection Fund, Linkcity (the development arm of Bouygues UK), Sovereign and the University of Bristol. Client placements will give the interns a broader view of the industry, while enabling them to expand their networks.

Collaboration day

Client collaboration extends beyond the placement of interns. New this year, the firm held a London collaboration day with GLP, a client of the firm, including a discussion with Ofei Kwafo-Akoto, a leading real estate lawyer and Head of Legal (Europe) at GLP, and Osborne Clarke's Head of Responsible Business, Bola Gibson.

With broad corporate real estate experience, Ofei is also a Trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and a founding committee member of the Black Solicitors Network Junior Lawyers Group. Ofei discussed his career, challenges he's overcome, and he provided tips for the interns.

To further support the intern's confidence and grow their commercial skills, they have been assigned a group project to collaborate on a mock client pitch. Each group will be supported with presentation training and o

#10KBI Legal Collaboration Network

Osborne Clarke is involved in the #10KBI Legal Collaboration Network. Initiated by Taylor Wessing, the network brings together 14 law firms involved in the #10KBI programme to provide additional skills training for the interns. Each firm hosts a session covering a range of topics and Osborne Clarke hosted a session covering confidence and navigating imposter syndrome.  All interns can join the various sessions available at all 14 law firms. 

As part of its role on the #10KBI Legal Collaboration Network, Osborne Clarke is also hosting a celebration event for all law firms and their interns and the participating clients to celebrate the culmination of the six-week internship, secondments, and training. It will be a great opportunity for the interns to network and build connections to support their development.

Additional support

As it did with its first 10KBI cohort, Osborne Clarke will provide buddies and mentors to support their learning journey, with the mentoring continuing for the rest of the year. To further support the interns, Osborne Clarke and its client TikTok will host recruitment and employability training.

"Most people will remember having that light bulb moment in an internship, when you finally start to figure what you want to do and, most importantly, what you don't want to do in your career. That's why we've broadened our programme this year."

The firm is again offering eligible interns the opportunity to undertake the assessment process and apply for a training contract with the firm. This autumn it will also launch a long-term scholarship programme aimed at students from black and ethnic communities, including mentoring, work experience, and financial support. 

Osborne Clarke's #10KBI Programme lead Su Akgun commented, "Most people will remember having that light bulb moment in an internship, when you finally start to figure what you want to do and, most importantly, what you don't want to do in your career. That's why we've broadened our programme this year. We want to give our interns a deep understanding of our business and what it's like to work in a law firm so they can make informed decisions about working in a business like ours. Programmes like #10KBI really are making a difference in helping the legal sector diversify its pool of great talent."

As part of the firm's Race Action Plan, Osborne Clarke is actively investing in recruitment, retention, inclusion and progression initiatives to improve ethnic minority representation in the firm.

#10000 Black Interns seeks to offer internships each year over five consecutive years. The programme is active across 20+ sectors partnering with firms to deliver paid work experience. By the end of the Summer 2023, the programme will have created almost 5,000 internships in three years and provided training opportunities for over 25,000 applicants.

10KBI Interns 2023

Pictured LtR: Hannah Ringane, Krystal Wachira, Justin Richards, Ayodola Ayorinde, Naomi Yikuno-Amlak, Alexia Saunders, Ibiye Isokariari , Ife Danso, Naomi Ezenwa , Daniel Owusu, Kayana Smith, Perpetua Chia

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