About Us

A key aspect of our diversity and inclusion programme focuses on attracting and recruiting candidates with disabilities. The talent pool is changing rapidly and we are determined to attract candidates from the widest pool possible, to continue to be competitive and to ensure the very best service for our clients.

Reed Smith is a global law firm, with more than 1,800 lawyers in 26 offices throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States.

The firm represents leading international businesses, from FTSE 100 corporations to dynamic mid-market and emerging enterprises. Our lawyers provide litigation and other dispute resolution services, regulatory counsel, and legal advice on the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, energy and natural resources, advertising, technology and media, shipping, real estate, manufacturing, and education.

We value individual differences and we work hard to ensure a fair and inclusive environment for all, where the unique insights, perspectives and backgrounds of individuals are recognised.

We realise that disability affects every aspect of business – employees, clients, markets, suppliers and stakeholders – and we understand that being a disability-smart organisation is a facilitator for increased productivity and effectiveness. We want to emphasise that jobs for disabled candidates are both available and achievable at the top of the legal profession

“Quite simply, we want to attract the best talent from every available talent pool without any limit. The work that we have done so far is only the beginning and we hope that in a few years time we will have a large pool of talented senior people with disabilities who will act as role models for others”Carolyn Pepper, Senior Partner

Did you know?

We are working to improve access to the legal profession for disabled candidates with initiatives such as our summer vacation scheme. Since 2013 we have offered five places on our summer vacation scheme to candidates with disabilities. Click on the below link to watch a video clip which provides an insight into some of the recent work we have undertaken in relation to supporting our summer vacation scheme students with disabilities at Reed Smith.

What we are currently doing?

Our Disability Task Force was created in the London office in 2012 with the objective of widening our recruitment outreach to a more diverse population and partnering with charities that assist those with disabilities in gaining skills and meaningful employment.

We are working with the Lawyers with Disabilities Division at The Law Society to recruit and retain more disabled lawyers. In 2013, our Disability Task Force hosted (in partnership with The Law Society) two Lawyers with Disabilities Division events.

We participated in the Department for Work and Pensions’ Disability Employment Conference in July 2013.

In April 2014, in partnership with EmployAbility, we hosted an event for over 40 students and graduates with disabilities. We participated in this event to emphasise to students and graduates that jobs for disabled candidates are both available and achievable at the top of the legal profession.

In October 2014, we will be hosting and taking part in the Access to Employment Event organised by the London School of Economics and Imperial College London. The key aim of this event is to provide information and inspire confidence in disabled students and graduates and help raise employer profiles as genuinely accessible organisations.

In December 2014, we will be taking part in OPEN, a careers event targeted at students and graduates interested in a career in law that raises awareness on the subject of disability and the workplace.

Accessibility Awards


  • Open days (2017/2018) We will be running a number of open days throughout 2017/2018, please visit our website to apply and to find out more about our culture at Reed Smith
  • Summer vacation schemes 2018 We run two vacation schemes in both June and July and annually seek to recruit a diverse mix of students on the schemes. Applications open for our 2018 schemes on 1st November 2017 and close on 31st January 2018.


Additional Opportunities

Tips for applying

Your Plus

We are looking for candidates who are on target for or have achieved a 2.1 or above at degree level (or the equivalent). This can be in any discipline. We are also looking for you to demonstrate that you have the skills and behaviours which would expect from our trainees.

  • Be yourself and be confident both when applying and interviewing

Recruitment Adjustments

A key consideration when recruiting at Reed Smith is to ensure that individuals from all diversity strands have an equal level playing field. As of 2015, we removed our timed verbal reasoning test after listening to feedback from individuals with disabilities who informed us that the test proved to be an obstacle for them in the process.

We feel that the most important approach to supporting our employees/ future employees, is to have honest, open conversations.

  • Extenuating circumstances Our online application form includes a section which allows you to advise us of any extenuating circumstances that are relevant for us to consider when reviewing your application form.
  • Accessible software and hardware We are able to provide software/ hardware in both assessment centres and within the workplace, as well as laptops when required.
  • Transitioning into the workplace Within the work place we have made various adjustments including but not limited to; support worker/ PA, flexible working hours, stronger wheelchair access, soft cultural adjustments.

Workplace Support

MyPlus Professionals