Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Homepage contents

Full-width image dimensions are 1170px x 375px.

The feature image is displayed as a background image on screens wider than 768px. The feature image dimensions are 745px x 240px.


About the programme

Pathways to Law is a programme that looks to inspire and support students to explore a range of careers in law and build essential knowledge, skills and confidence required to go on to higher education and the world of work.

The programme was established in 2006 by the Sutton Trust and the Legal Education Foundation, with generous support from our partner law firms and is the largest initiative of its nature. Pathways to Law was developed to widen access to the legal profession, as research by the Sutton Trust had shown that the top echelons of the professions were drawn from a narrow range of social backgrounds. The programme aims to raise students’ aspirations and allow them to make informed decision about their future career.

Our Funding Partners:






Applications for 2023/24 are now closed.


Key Stage 5

Pathways to Law also offers a two year cohort programme for Year 12/13 students. The key information is contained within this menu. Open each section to find out more.

Would you enjoy studying Law at university? Is a legal career right for you? Experience Pathways to Law and make up your own mind.
    The Pathways to Law programme includes a range of events throughout Year 12 and Year 13 to give you a real flavour of both studying law and what it is like to work in the legal profession.
      The programme this year will include a blended approach, with some virtual events and face to face events on campus when it is safe to do so. A typical programme includes:
        • Opportunities to apply for work experience in the legal sector
        • Hear from Solicitors and Barristers to better understand jobs in the legal sector
        • Attend law taster lectures to see what university study involves
        • Tailored support with UCAS applications and personal statements
        • Expert support with preparing your CV for work experience
        • Experience the Pathways to Law National Conference over the summer to give you a real taste of university life
        • Optional external trips including with the Inner Temple
          Participating Universities:Warwick, Newcastle, Exeter, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, LSE, Manchester, Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, Oxford, Queen Mary and Cardiff.
          Students applying to the Pathways to Law must meet the following criteria:
            • Attend, and have always attended, a state funded, non-fee paying school/college
            • Be in Year 12 at the start of the programme
            • Live within a reasonable commuting distance of the University of Warwick
              In addition, preference will be given to students: who meet one or more of the following:
              • Have achieved in the region of 5 A*-B (9-6) grades at GCSE (with a minimum of 2 A* or A grades), including grades 9 – 6 in Mathematics and English
              • Would be the first generation in their family to attend university
              • Have been in receipt of Free School Meals whilst at secondary school
              • Have attended schools with a lower than average progression to Higher Education, or a higher than average proportion of students who qualify for Free School Meal
              • Live in a neighbourhood with a low rate of progression to higher education or a high level of socio-economic deprivation
              • Have been looked after, in care or a young carer
                The more criteria you meet, the more likely you are to be offered a place on the programme.
                Year 12 Draft Programme
                  Autumn Term
                  • Programme Launch to find out all about the two years ahead
                    Spring Term

                    • Sector Day to find out roles within the legal profession
                    • Opportunities to apply for Work Experience Placements
                    • Academic Taster Day
                      Summer Term
                      • Personal Statement and LNAT events
                      • Pathways to Law National Law Conference
                          Year 13 Draft Programme
                            Autumn Term
                            • Programme Relaunch
                              Spring Term
                              • Inner Temple Visit
                              • A-level Bootcamp
                              • Programme Graduation
                                Cohort 13 Pathways to Law Student
                                • “The pathways to law programme at Warwick University has been fantastic. It is something all aspiring students, who have an interest in law, should apply to and get involved with. As an aspiring lawyer, this experience has helped shape my future and is something I can highly recommend. The most invaluable and exiting part of the programme is the work experience opportunity. My personal work experience was in Squire Patton Boggs for which I was grateful for, purely because this experience gave me an insight into the world of commercial law, which is what I aspire towards. Being in a working commercial law firm, meeting the lawyers and speaking through networking was invaluable and has given me an upper edge in my journey. Finding legal work experience is extremely difficult if you don’t have connections already, therefore for those who have a genuine interest in law and want to experience what the reality is, then applying to pathways is a must. The most beneficial and interesting event for me was the academic taster session run by the University of Warwick. This was a great day because all students on the pathways programme attended, regardless of their specific route. This was also invaluable to me because it allowed to gain a real insight into what studying law will entail. The fact Warwick law professors were able and willing to give taster lectures really helped affirm my willingness to study law at university. I’m therefore happy to say that this element of the pathways programme did really help to shape my decision about studying law at university, and much further to aspire to pursue a career in law. In terms of the general networking events that have taken place and meeting students has really helped my confidence and awareness. I am now more confident and have made strong friendships with people of a similar mindset and similar interests. Networking and communication skills are vital and the makeup of the pathways programme really does help to ensure all student develop those skills effectively. Overall, I really do believe applying to the pathways to law programme was one of the best decisions I have made. It really does help post 16 students to affirm their career hopes and even their decisions about university and what we wish to study. The graduation was a great way to celebrate our achievements and I hope students in the future can make the most of an opportunity and fantastic as pathways to law!” .”
                                  Gemma Rooney
                                  • “When I started the Pathways to Law project, I wasn’t entirely sure that Law was the right subject for me. However, Pathways gave me a taste of the different aspects of law and erased any doubts I had, and soon I found myself applying to universities to study Law. Pathways to Law was an invaluable asset during this time, providing guidance on writing my Personal Statement and overall application, whilst my e-mentor was always on hand to answer any questions I had. I think Pathways to Law really made my application stand out, as it showed a true commitment to Law as a subject. The programme itself allowed me to meet with lots of other students in a similar position, and the National Conference was an opportunity to make friends from all over the country, whilst at the same time debate, think about law and sample university life. Overall, I think that the programme gave me the edge I needed when applying to universities and at the same time it was really enjoyable!”
                                  How many places are available on the Pathways to Law programme?
                                  400 places nationally, 35 places at University of Warwick.
                                    Can I apply for a place on the programme at any of the participating universities?
                                    No, you can only apply to the university running the Pathways to Law programme which is closest to your term-time residence. Although we will be running a mixed delivery format this year, we are hoping the majority of events will run in person, on campus. Therefore you need to live close enough to campus to be able to attend sessions regularly.
                                      Will the Sutton Trust adjust their programme’s criteria based on the exam results this year?
                                      Grades are part of our contextual criteria so students are more likely to gain a place if they meet them but we balance that with the social mobility markers for our programmes. We will continue with this approach next year, with particular focus on students from lower performing schools. Teachers will be able to provide a statement of support outlining any anomalies with the grades awarded so that we can also take this into context. We will be encouraging our university partners to be as generous as possible in their contextual admissions approach for our programmes.
                                        I am appealing my grades – what should I do?
                                        Places on our programmes are not given on a first-come-first-served basis. This means there is no advantage to applying early.We therefore advise that you apply to the programme once you have your appeal results. If you do not receive these before the deadline for applications, please let us know that you have applied without your appealed results so that we can make a note of this on your application.
                                          How much does it cost?
                                          The programme is free. Your travel expenses to and from Pathways events are paid (subject to you submitting receipts) and transport costs may be reimbursed.
                                            How many sessions do I have to attend?
                                            The programme is made up of compulsory and optional events which you are welcome to attend. You are required to attend the compulsory events across both years, which will be outlined at the start of the programme.
                                              Will I miss time from school?
                                              Where possible, we will arrange events outside of school time (late afternoons/evenings), during school holidays and at weekends. While we are very conscious of students missing school time, it may not possible to run every events outside of term time, so it is very important that you share the details of the programme dates with your tutor/head of 6th form as soon as these are available. It is your responsibility to catch up on any work missed.
                                                I am studying at an independent school. Why can't I apply for Pathways to Law?
                                                The programme is designed to offer opportunities to students from under-represented backgrounds. There has been much research published regarding widening participation which has concluded that these students are mostly found in state schools.
                                                  If I complete the Pathways to Law programme will I receive reduced offers to attend university?
                                                  Some universities who run the Pathways to Law programme offer reduced offers to those who complete the programme, or who meet certain widening participation eligibility criteria. Information is circulated about what each university is offering in your year of application at the Pathways to Law National Conference. At Warwick, for example, students who complete Pathways to Law at any university are eligible for a reduced offer and join Warwick Scholars as an undergraduate when they enrol at the university after completing the Pathways programme. More information about the Warwick Scholars undergraduate programme can be found here Warwick Scholars Undergraduate Programme
                                                    Can I apply for more than one WP programme?
                                                    We will only offer a place on one programme to a student so please ensure that you apply to the programme that is most suitable to your needs and circumstances. Note that if you are successful in securing a place on the Pathways to Law programme and have accepted it, you will automatically made ineligible for any other programmes the Outreach team offer. The only exception to this is for programme students who are planning to apply to Warwick for their undergraduate studies. These students may be eligible to apply for our Warwick Scholars access programme and if offered a place will be expected to complete their existing post-16 programme alongside participating in Warwick Scholars. Further details about Warwick Scholars can be found here Warwick Scholars
                                                      When will I hear whether I have been accepted on to the Pathways to Law scheme?
                                                      We hope to have an outcome by the end of October - as soon as we have reviewed applications we will let you know the outcome.



                                                      Laura Harris, Widening Participation Officer, 07876 218 144


                                                      Jamaal Otto, Pathways To The Professions Coordinator, 07392125625

                                                      Contact us?