Ten Years of Eversheds Sutherland Unlocked

Ten years ago, we partnered with leading law firm Eversheds Sutherland, to design a work experience programme for 16-18 year olds that steered away from the usual photocopying or tea and coffee making. Together, we created Eversheds Sutherland Unlocked: a life-changing, social mobility programme for 140, 16-18 year olds, ran in 7 of their offices across England and Wales.

This week, as we launch our 10th programme we caught up with Sharon, a former Unlocked participant, who is starting as a Trainee at the firm in September 2019. We asked Sharon what the programme meant to her.

“Growing up I knew I wanted to have a different life to the people I saw around me but there were few role models or supporters to inspire, encourage or even believe in me. When I applied for Eversheds Sutherland Unlocked all I was really hoping for was something impressive to put on my CV. I had no idea what that programme would mean to me and my future.

In the three days I spent at Eversheds Sutherland Unlocked I was encouraged to reflect on my goals and aspirations. Aside from pragmatic guidance, I also received positive feedback and could see that people believed in my abilities - perhaps more than I did myself. As a result, those three days ended up becoming massively influential in my long-term development.

The people I met on Unlocked helped me to overcome various barriers including the challenge of being one of very few people in my community to go to university. It has not been straightforward at all, which makes it even more special to be able to stand up in front of this year’s group and say, ‘that I was sitting where they were 7 years ago…and that I will be starting as a trainee at Eversheds Sutherland in September 2019’. I was championed by Eversheds Sutherland Unlocked and without that experience I would not be where I am today.”

We would like to thank everyone involved from Eversheds Sutherland in Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Cardiff and London, as well as the AE delivery team, for making this such a brilliant programme that delivers real outcomes.