Bridging the Gap in the Legal Sector

15th March 2024
Poonam Gill, our Business Engagement Manager, writes about our first Bridging the Gap event connecting young Londoners with professionals in the legal sector…

The first in a series of sector networking events run by the Mayor’s Fund for London’s (MFL) Access Aspiration programme, Bridging the Gap in the Legal Sector, took place on Tuesday 27 February. The event, supported and hosted by Weil, brought together legal employers, early-career professionals and sixth form students to talk about routes into the industry and the array of opportunities available to them. The Mayor’s Fund for London’s Business Engagement Manager, Poonam Gill, reflects on the day. 

For so many of our sixth formers, the appeal of a career in the legal sector is as strong as ever. Year on year, over 3,000 students sign up to the Access Aspiration programme and select their top career preferences. Law and the legal sector never fail to reach the top three.  

Both employer partners and students have shared with us that finding opportunities to connect can be a challenge and so from this feedback, the Bridging the Gap series was born.  

Bridging the Gap builds on MFL’s experience running the Firm Foundations campaign with built environment employers. These quarterly events bring together young people and employers for a facilitated and open conversation about the realities of starting work in a particular sector, the different roles and opportunities on offer, and to reflect on some of the highlights and challenges of their own career journey.  

Bridging the Gap also provides a space for employers to engage with young, diverse group of Londoners- exciting pipeline of talent- to hear and understand their concerns and interests, and how best to attract them.  

On the day, guests had the chance to listen to inspirational speakers from the legal world and got tips from the MFL Youth Board. Thank you to Anil Gill, Jasmine Ashley-Tagoe, Sophie Pender, Kata Budai, Ya’Eesh Ghodiwala, and Samiya Hamid who spoke to us about the power of self-advocacy, overcoming imposter syndrome, the importance of empathy, developing skills through pro-bono work, and how to start building your professional network.  

The main focus of the morning was a roundtable networking session, with the professionals in the room actively participating by sharing their experience and expertise and students able to quench their curiosities by asking them questions. Each table had a theme including- social justice, corporate law, a career as an in-house lawyer, routes into law, becoming a barrister, risk and compliance and business professionals in the legal sector. We also wanted to provoke a bit of debate on the tables – and so gave each table a social topic to consider – such as “should the voting age be dropped to 16?”.  

The event concluded with students having the opportunity to come and speak at the podium, sharing things they learnt and discovered from the interactive session. They highlighted the value of focusing on a brick-by-brick approach when building the “house” of your career to avoid getting overwhelmed, being aware of current affairs and the skill of making an argument separately from your own opinion, and the pros and cons of university and apprenticeships. 

Everyone in the room then had the chance to continue networking during lunch, connecting on LinkedIn and finding out about opportunities for work experience and internships.  

Overall, it was fantastic to see the ambition and drive from the students, all seeking to find out as much information as they can to succeed in the sector. And for the employers in the room, having the opportunity to share their insights and those golden nuggets of insider information with soon to be bright, dedicated future colleagues was exactly what the event aimed to achieve. 

The Access Aspiration team are now looking forward to hosting our second event in the series, Bridging the Gap in Finance, taking place on Thursday 25 April at Macquarie. With the finance and business sector also being in the top three career preferences for our students, finance professionals will have the chance to showcase to future talent the diverse roles and industries on offer.  

If you would like to get involved or host our next event, get in touch with Poonam by emailing

You can see a full list of Mayor’s Fund for London partners and funders in our annual organisational impact report.