Sophie Pender recognized for her social mobility efforts
A junior solicitor in the London office of Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) made one of the Forbes The magazine’s ’30 Under 30′ power lists in recognition of its efforts to promote social mobility in the legal profession and beyond.
Sophie Pender, an English graduate from the University of Bristol, has completed her training contract with HSF, qualifying for its corporate team in September 2021.
But it was during her undergraduate studies that she founded The 93% Club, an organization that aims to “close the social mobility gap” in professional sectors by equipping students “with the skills to become serious competitors in the labor market.
The club seeks to achieve this goal by giving these students the opportunity to attend workshops, seminars, and social events, as well as by organizing a variety of “challenging” political campaigns and programs to raise public awareness.
The 93% comes from the fact that state-educated students, who represent 93% of the population, “face exceptional inequalities when it comes to obtaining opportunities at university and in the workplace. work,” according to the project’s website.
The 2022 legal cheek List of the most
Pender describes the club, which has attracted more than 10,000 student members since its launch six years ago, as “a sustainable and equitable alternative to the ‘Old Boys’ network”. Some newspapers went so far as to dub it “an upside-down Bullingdon” – a play on the elite catering society for wealthy Oxford University students.
The junior lawyer is on the Europe 2022 Social Impact edition of the list, which recognizes people who are “systemically and sustainably transforming education, business and beyond”.
Law firms have stepped up their social mobility efforts in recent years with a range of initiatives, including scholarships, mentorship and work experience programs. The latest Social Mobility Rankings feature 30 legal employers, including Pender’s firm, HSF.