London firm Kingsley Napley is seeking apprentices in a drive to improve diversity. The legal apprentice competition, which is in its second year, gives sixth form students the chance to compete for apprenticeships and internships at Kingsley Napley. 

The contest is open to a maximum of 900 school teams who will compete in three heats which test analytical ability, witness interviewing and marketing skills. Four teams will then be invited to take part in a live final next summer.

Senior partner Stephen Parkinson, who judged the competition last year, said diversity is ‘an urgent issue for the legal profession, particularly our part of the legal profession’.

He added: ‘Our aim with the competition is to demystify the legal profession and to encourage more pupils from all over the country, particularly those from non-traditional backgrounds, to consider a career in law.’

Some 308 schools entered the contest in 2018. According to Parkinson, seven of these were independent schools and 29 were grammar schools. While organisers allowed all types of school to enter, Parkinson said private schools ‘got the message’ about the aim of the scheme.

Last year, both the winners and the runners-up attended grammar schools. The two winners are now in the running for legal apprenticeships at the firm.