UK Diversity Fellowship

As part of Cooley’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we are proud to offer Diversity Fellowships to outstanding university students intending to study for qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales. Students who demonstrate a commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion are encouraged to apply.

The Cooley UK Diversity Fellowship is a unique opportunity to gain valuable insights about a career in law with Cooley, with the opportunity to participate in Cooley’s Summer Programme a year sooner than students are typically eligible to participate. Our Summer Programme is an essential part of our trainee solicitor recruitment process, as participants are traditionally considered for a training contract at the conclusion of the programme. As Diversity Fellows will be participating in the Summer Programme a year early, at the conclusion of the programme they will be considered for participation in the programme again the following year. The two-year approach will provide the opportunity for Fellows to learn about our work environment, develop relevant skills and gain invaluable contacts and experience that will enable them to perform to their best when they attend the Summer Programme in their second year.

Award recipients will receive a paid Summer Programme position and a bursary of up to £12,000 to assist with university/law school tuition. The bursary will be paid in three instalments: £4,000 upon completion of the first UK Summer Programme with the firm; £4,000 upon completion of the second UK Summer Programme with the firm; and the remaining £4,000 upon joining the firm as a full-time trainee solicitor.

In order to receive the second payment of the fellowship bursary, a Cooley UK Diversity Fellow must, following completion of their first Cooley UK Summer Programme, (i) receive, (ii) accept a written offer to join and (iii) return to the firm (on the schedule shown in the table below) and complete their second Cooley UK Summer Programme, and in addition must not be the recipient of a diversity award from another law firm paid between 1 September, 2021 and 31 August, 2022. To receive the final payment of the fellowship award, a Cooley UK Diversity Fellow must receive and accept an offer of full-time employment and join the firm as a full-time trainee solicitor.

The eligibility, selection criteria and application process for the programme are as follows:

Eligibility

We welcome applications from all outstanding university students who:

  • Are enrolled full-time at the time of application in a UK university course, with an anticipated graduation date from a UK law school (studying for qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales) of no later than 2026
  • Demonstrate a commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within their local communities and/or more broadly
  • Can participate in and complete Cooley’s 2021 UK Summer Programme. The table below tells you, by reference to where you are in your university degree course, whether you would be eligible to participate in Cooley’s 2021 UK Summer Programme as a Diversity Fellow:
  • Degree subject Eligible to attend first UK Summer Programme as a Diversity Fellow Eligible to attend second UK Summer Programme as a Diversity Fellow
    Law (3 year course) At the end of your 1st year At the end of your 2nd year
    Law (4 year course) At the end of your 2nd year At the end of your 3rd year
    Non-Law (3 year course) At the end of your 2nd year At the end of your 3rd year
    Non-Law (4 year course) At the end of your 3rd year At the end of your 4th year
  • Will not be the recipient of a diversity award from another law firm paid between 1 January, 2021 and 31 August, 2021

Selection criteria

Fellows will be selected based on consideration of the following factors:

  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Sixth form (Years 12 and 13) and university academic achievement
  • Personal achievement
  • Demonstrated leadership ability
  • Community service

Application process

Applications must include:

  • Submission of a complete and accurate online application (only one application will be considered)
  • A personal statement (no more than 650 words) – as part of the online application, demonstrating achievement of the selection criteria for the diversity fellowship, including a commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within their local communities and/or more broadly
  • Academic transcript (if available)

Apply now

For students in the 2020-2021 academic year, applications must be received by 14 April, 2021. Selected applicants will be contacted on a rolling basis to arrange for personal interviews. In the 2020-2021 application cycle, all interviews will be conducted virtually.

Please direct questions regarding our fellowship to the diversity, equity & inclusion team at diversityfellowshipUK@cooley.com.