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DLA Piper officially launches its Head Start program in Africa

By James Kamau

DLA Piper in collaboration with DLA Piper Africa, Kenya today announced the official launch of Head Start Africa (HSA), following a successful pilot. HSA is aimed at increasing access to and diversity within the legal profession. It follows successful iterations of the program in the UK, New Zealand, Australia and China.

The program offers holistic support to students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, who have traditionally experienced barriers such as insufficient funding for their studies and lack of opportunities to develop employability and networks in their pursuit of tertiary education and a career in law.

The program is already supporting 14 talented students, who meet social mobility criteria, across six universities in Kenya. Consistent with Head Start’s philosophy, the firm is providing long-term, high-quality mentoring, employability skills training, work placement opportunities, resilience and leadership development and financial support to the students enrolled under it.

HSA will gradually be rolled out to other DLA Piper Africa countries following the launch in Kenya.

James Kamau, Chair of DLA Piper Africa and the Managing Partner at DLA Piper Africa, Kenya said: “The Head Start Africa program provides meaningful opportunities to talented students who traditionally face barriers to accessing education and the practical skills and experience required to succeed in a workplace. Through targeted interventions such as our unique ‘bootcamp’ experience – the Head Start Africa Academy – we offer the students opportunities that will be transformative and propel them to successful careers.”

Clementine Johnson, Head of Social Impact, DLA Piper said: “Head Start Africa is about supporting talented students, who come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, to define and reach their educational and professional goals. Beyond the impact we have on the individuals, this program also challenges us as a business to recruit, nurture and retain diverse talent. We are thrilled to launch Head Start in Kenya and look forward to working with our clients and community partners to deliver long-lasting impact.”

For more information, get in touch with Sandra Abongo at [email protected]