Blog: Shadowing opportunities at the Law Commission
Legal professionals from under-represented backgrounds can apply to our Diversity Shadowing Scheme to learn more about working at the Law Commission.
The Law Commission is an independent arm’s-length body which specialises in law reform. The aim of the Commission is to ensure that the law is simple, fair, modern and cost-effective. Since its creation in 1965, the Law Commission has produced more than 350 sets of law reform recommendations, delivering significant practical benefits to the public, businesses, the third sector and the public sector.
Our law reform projects cover a host of issues affecting society, which impact a diverse range of communities. We want to ensure that these diverse communities are adequately represented in our work and our workforce. As such, we aim to draw on as broad and diverse a talent pool as possible to foster a diverse workforce that encapsulates variety of experiences and perspectives.
With this vision in mind, we have created the following shadowing opportunities for those who may not have previously considered a career with us:
- The Commissioner Diversity Work Shadowing Scheme
- The Lawyer Diversity Work Shadowing Scheme
Commissioner shadowing opportunities
The Commissioner Diversity Work Shadowing scheme was first launched in 2018 to allow qualified candidates from under-represented backgrounds to gain insight into the role.
The Law Commission has four Commissioners, each leading one of our teams specialising in: Public Law and Law in Wales, Property, Family and Trust Law, Commercial and Common Law, and Criminal Law. The Commissioners are a core part of their team, often leading on a number of projects in their own teams and peer reviewing law reform projects across other teams. The Commissioners play a key part in meeting with stakeholders and contributing towards strategic decisions which affect the organisation. Together, they have a collective responsibility for ensuring the Commission’s reputation for quality, impartiality and independence is maintained.
Lawyer shadowing opportunities
Lawyers at the Law Commission work within the different law reform teams to help with the development and drafting of policy proposals and papers and liaise with key stakeholders. The lawyers undertake much of the day-to-day work on law reform projects.
After much ongoing interest, we expanded our Commissioner Shadowing Scheme in 2021 to cover lawyer roles as well. Combined with our outreach work for those interested in our research assistant positions, this means that we now undertake outreach work for all of our roles in our law reform teams.
Who is the scheme aimed at?
The Commissioner and lawyer diversity shadowing scheme is aimed at legal professionals from traditionally under-represented groups at the Commission. This includes people who are:
- Ethnic minorities
- Socially or economically disadvantaged
- Those who consider themselves to have a disability within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010
We seek to provide opportunities for individuals who have the skills, experience and interest in working at the Law Commission in the longer term. Please note that this scheme is there targeted at legal professionals who would be eligible – either now or within the next year – for the position of lawyer or Commissioner. More information on eligibility requirements is available on our website. If you are not eligible, you may consider looking into our internships with partner organisations or our research assistant positions.
What does work shadowing involve?
Work shadowing can span a range of opportunities – from a short, focused discussion to a more comprehensive shadowing experience – and will be tailored to individual candidates on the basis of their experience and professional background.
Penney Lewis, current Law Commissioner for Criminal Law, said:
“I was fortunate to be able to participate in the work shadowing scheme before submitting my application to be a Commissioner.
“Not only did the experience give me insight into the role of a Commissioner and the wide variety of tasks Commissioners undertake, it also confirmed for me that it was something I very much wanted to do – and helped give me the confidence that my previous experience included the transferable skills necessary for the job.”
How do I apply?
To apply to the work shadowing scheme, all participants must fill out an application form. There are no formal selection criteria, however if there is high demand, we will prioritise applications from those with the most relevant skills and experience.
If you are interested in work shadowing, click here for further information and to complete an application form.
If you have any questions, please email LawCom_WorkShadowing@lawcommission.gov.uk.