Social Mobility And Education

Celebrating diversity and operating in an inclusive manner are core elements to ensuring we remain a successful firm. We know that for our business to thrive and for us to reach our ambitions, we depend on having diverse talent with a range of backgrounds, skills and capabilities. We view diversity as one of the key enablers that helps our business to grow and our values, purpose and standards set the conditions for us to respect the unique contribution each person brings.

Our efforts to champion diversity and inclusion across our business are supported by a range of dedicated employees irrespective of background, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. We ensure that our recruitment process for work placements, modern apprentices, experienced hires promote social mobility and enable access for all. Many of our lawyers are involved in mentoring those who seek to be the best they can be. We also support a number of educational institutions through tutoring, lecturing and examining.

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Widening access
  • BAME: we have partnered with Black Professionals Scotland on their Black Scot Interns programme to provide paid intern opportunities
  • Diversity: we are members of the 30% Club, a global campaign to increase gender diversity at board / senior management levels.  Our board is 60% women.
  • Pilot Apprenticeship programme:  we are participating in this with the Law Society and Robert Gordon University. The programme is designed to widen access by offering apprenticeships as a route to qualification as a solicitor. 
  • Whizz-Kidz: the charity, Whizz-Kidz supports young wheelchair users in Scotland, helping them lead a fun and active childhood, while preparing them for an independent future.  In 2019 we provided placements to two wheelchair users.
  • Rare Contextual Recruitment system:  the Rare system identifies potential future lawyers from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. This year, our shortlist comprised 27.5% of graduates from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, with 40% being offered traineeships.  We are one of only three legal firms in Scotland using this system.
  • PRIME: we have partnered with PRIME to provide work experience opportunities for 5th and 6th year pupils, from less advantaged backgrounds, interested in a career in law.
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Work placements

We offer unpaid work experience to secondary school pupils in 5th/6th year who are considering studying law at university. Selection is done fairly using a standard application form and results in at least 15 people a year being offered a week's experience covering a variety of legal disciplines. We promote this program actively and combine it with school visits and other initiatives (including our support for the Scottish Schools Law Project) to inspire and encourage aspiring lawyers, as well as to increase the diversity of the profession.

Learn more about our work experience and placements here.

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Modern apprentices

Wherever possible, we will seek to recruit  18 - 25 year olds through an apprenticeship scheme and help establish them onto a career path. We have recruited at least 12 Modern Apprentices over the last six years and have given them the opportunity of a structured training programme which leads to a recognised qualification. We give them a salary consistent with that recommended by the Living Wage Foundation (not minimum wage) and offer them permanent contracts and full benefits. Once qualified, they will receive an automatic salary increase.

Morton Fraser_volunteering

We would like to encourage employees to participate in worthwhile activities based in the local community. To support this, the Firm has a policy which invites the chosen "charity of the year" to highlight any suitable volunteering opportunities. Employees can have two paid days per year to volunteer for activities organised by the firm.

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  • We are working with MCR pathways, a national charity, who work with care experienced young people to get them into positive destinations.  Their results are excellent.  They train mentors and pair them up with young people in schools, and the mentor works with them to develop a pastoral-type relationship encouraging them to reach their ambitions.  The published statistics show that when compared to their peer group they do better than the national average in every indicator. We currently have five trained mentors.
  • Paul Geoghegan volunteers as a mentor for law students at Napier University.
  • Gail Watt is a mentor for the Law Society of Scotland and for the Napier University scheme. Gail also mentors for Women in Renewable Energy Scotland (WiRES).
  • Innes Clark is involved with "Very Impressive People" which is a mentoring programme aimed at students who went to local authority schools.
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  • Richard McMeeken is the lead tutor for the commercial litigation elective on the Diploma at the University of Edinburgh.
  • Alan Delaney lectures and tutor's employment law on the Diploma in Legal Practice at Edinburgh University.
  • Innes Clark is involved in lecturing at Edinburgh and Napier Universities. This involves lecturing law students at both universities focusing on practical aspects of employment law. In addition, Innes lectures human resource management students on employment law issues at Napier University.
  • Morton Fraser continues to support The Schools Law Web, which helps to provide materials on the law in Scotland to support teachers in classroom teaching.
  •  Ruth McCallister tutors Professional Skills and Responsibility course on the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at the University of Edinburgh. The course includes tendering, communication and commercial awareness.