Vantage allows students who are interested in a legal career to register their academic and personal information in a central database, which can then be accessed by law firm employers. There are currently 2,000 students registered on the portal.
Branded ‘high-low schools’, at the 100 schools eligible to utilise Vantage, only one in forty students who achieves an A in A-Level English goes on to study law. This is twelve times less than at elite schools.
The new portal is an extension of Rare’s established contextual recruitment system (CRS). Rather than comparing the academic achievements of candidates on a like-for-like basis, CRS considers the context in which those results were achieved. For example, if two candidates scored AAB at A-Level but an employer discovered that one of them had been at a school where the average was two Ds and an E, or that he or she came from a bottom 5% postcode with corresponding low incomes and deprivation scales, they might start to see a different picture.
Raph Mokades, founder and MD of Rare said: ‘we are extremely excited to bring Vantage to market and are hugely encouraged by the response from candidates and law firms alike. Our mission is not just to open access to rewarding careers for people who have surmounted a challenging start in life, but to make their talents and drive accessible to the employers who need them. Vantage is a remarkably powerful solution for law firms looking to recruit high quality trainees, apprentices and paralegals from all walks of life.’
The ten founding partner firms of Vantage are Baker McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Eversheds Sutherland, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Macfarlanes, Pinsent Masons, Slaughter and May and Travers Smith.
Hogan Lovells graduate partner Louise Lamb said: ‘Commitment to diversity is one of our core values so we are delighted to be part of the launch of the Vantage system. This is set to be another game-changer for diversity in the legal sector, providing an opportunity for high-low schools students to reach their potential.’