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Herbert Smith Freehills is a founding member of PRIME, a collaborative law firm initiative to improve social mobility in the industry. Each year we offer work experience placements to 25  talented, hardworking, motivated and ambitious young people from backgrounds that are under- represented in the legal profession.

Our PRIME programme includes a blend of learning and development sessions (on topics such as networking and presentation skills), work shadowing, a client visit and time spent gaining an insight into life at an international law firm. The students also have assigned mentors who provide support and encouragement. In doing so, the programme enables young people to gain valuable work experience and improve their soft skills.

“I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed every moment I spent at Herbert Smith Freehills… you made my first insight into law incredible.

PRIME Student

Most work experience opportunities for young people are based in London, placing students living in the rest of the UK at a disadvantage. That's why every year we host Summer PRIME, for students living outside London. The students stay in university halls, so the placement also provides them with insight into university life and dispels any myths they may have about it.

For every PRIME programme, we partner with one of our clients. It's an effective way of developing stronger relationships with our clients and supporting one another in the shared objective of ensuring fairer access to work experience.

We do not accept direct applications for the Herbert Smith Freehills' PRIME programme, however we encourage students to apply to the Social Mobility Foundation Aspiring Professionals Programme, which we support and recruit from every year. 

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Addressing social mobility in the legal profession is something that no law firm can do alone. I am delighted that Herbert Smith Freehills is helping to change young people's lives through this collaborative project by ensuring they are aware of the range of careers on offer within law firms and the qualities young people need to succeed at this level.

Ian Cox
Executive Partner, Practices