Hodge Jones & Allen is featuring in a documentary series being televised on BBC2 this week, which aims to dispel the myth that people with neurological conditions are not employable.
‘Employable Me’ follows people with diverse neurological conditions, such as autism, Tourette syndrome and Down’s syndrome, as they embark on work experience. The series gives viewers an insight into such conditions and why they shouldn’t always be looked at in negative terms.
The show follows 27-year-old Ben, a law graduate who completed his LPC with BPP Law School, through a week-long placement at Hodge Jones & Allen’s London office, where he shadowed Daniel Godden, partner in the Serious Fraud department. His placement included a wide-range of activities, including attending a police station interview and examining telephone evidence in a large drugs case.
Ben, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when he was 14 years old, has unsuccessfully applied for 50 different jobs since obtaining his LPC four years ago. Despite this, he is determined to work in the legal profession.
“My dream to succeed in the legal profession is not just for me, but to also show that people with autism can succeed in the professions,” he says.
Daniel Godden explains: “It was great to be part of this programme and to provide Ben with the insight into life at a law firm. Ben shows a great passion for justice and the law which I am sure will make him a great solicitor.”
Nigel Richardson, Head of the Criminal Defence team said: “It was a real pleasure having Ben working with us. Gaining relevant work experience is vital for anyone hoping to embark on a legal career today so at Hodge Jones & Allen we have a formalised programme designed as an introduction to the world of law. The partnership is wholeheartedly committed to equal opportunities and diversity so ensuring we recruit talented employees from a range of backgrounds is important to us. At present almost half of our total team come from ethnic minorities and our current make-up is 71% female and 29% male.”
Since his work experience at the firm, Ben has applied for a training contract at the firm for its 2017 intake. The application deadline closes on 29 July.
‘Employable Me’ is shown at 9pm on BBC2 this Wednesday, 6 April 2016.
Notes for Editors
- Hodge Jones & Allen runs a two-year Solicitor Training Programme which involves four seats of six months in teams of your choice. Each trainee shares a room with a partner and is closely supervised. Most of the training is in-house with some formal courses. The work is hard but stimulating. The firm has a mentoring scheme for its trainees, whereby a former recent HJA trainee acts as a mentor for a current trainee.
- Hodge Jones & Allen has attained the Investors in People gold standard.
- Hodge Jones and Allen employs 217 staff based in Euston NW1. The firm’s team of specialists deal with Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, Industrial Disease, Civil Liberties, Criminal Defence, Court of Protection, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Family Law, Military Claims, Serious Fraud, Social Housing, Wills & Probate and Property Disputes.
- Recognised as a Tier 1 firm across a number of disciplines by Chambers UK
- Named as a leading firm by The Legal 500
- Listed as number 137 in the Lawyer UK 200
- Shortlisted for firm/not for profit agency by Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2014
- Shortlisted for law firm of the year by Halsbury Legal Awards 2014