Trainee solicitors are being invited to apply for a coveted place on the Law Society's scheme to improve social mobility in the legal profession.

The Diversity Access Scheme (DAS) supports entrants to the solicitors' profession who face exceptional social, educational, financial or personal obstacles to qualification. Successful applicants receive financial assistance to do the legal practice course, work experience, a professional mentor and networking opportunities. The scheme, which was set up in 2004, has supported more than 200 aspiring solicitors so far.

Chancery Lane today begun the recruitment process for the 2018/19 academic year.

Joe Egan, Society president, said: 'I encourage any aspiring solicitor who is facing particular challenges on their way to qualification to consider applying for a place on the scheme. To thrive, the profession needs committed solicitors from diverse backgrounds. The Law Society looks forward to welcoming up to 10 new trainees on to the scheme to support them in realising their ambitions.'

The scheme is sponsored by RBS, BP, Withers, Eversheds Sutherland, Nottingham Law School, BPP Law School, University of Law, University of Westminster and the Law Society Charity.

The Society says some of the challenges that previous alumni have faced prior to joining the scheme include time in local authority care, escaping oppressive regimes or studying at university with severe physical disabilities.

The recruitment process closes on 8 April.