qLegal is one of the founding partners within SKETCH: a notional multi-disciplinary professional services firm
The world of professional services is changing. Law firms no longer offer just legal services as they respond to their clients’ desire for a more integrated package of solutions to their problems. Although, traditionally, advisers are trained to focus on a single area of expertise such as law, finance, business or tech, in reality these areas often sit alongside each other or even overlap.
qLegal’s mission is to help the next generation of lawyers help the next generation of clients to create value in the world. So, it was an obvious step to encourage qLegal’s postgraduate law students to collaborate with their counterparts in other schools within Queen Mary, increasing diversity of thought as they support clients, and reflecting wider trends in professional practice. The perfect opportunity to make this happen arose when Queen Mary won funding from the Office for Students to support best practice in student knowledge exchange, that is, where students use their learning within and for the benefit of the community.
Thus SKETCH was born. Standing for Student Knowledge Exchange Through Community Hubs, it provides an umbrella structure, bringing together the work of Queen Mary’s long-standing student-led services: qLegal, The Legal Advice Centre, qNomics and the Student Consultancy Project plus a new service, the Queen Mary Social Venture Fund. In recognition of the fact that it is not always easy to capture the benefits that these services bring to students and the clients they support, the final part of the jigsaw is a new student-led Social Impact Unit. The SIU will evaluate each service’s work, disseminate best practice and showcase the range of collaborative projects that students are engaging in.
qLegal is delighted to be working closely with the newly appointed SKETCH Coordinator, Olivia Reid, whose background in supporting enterprise and, in particular, a diverse range of entrepreneurs makes her the ideal person to lead the development of the SKETCH brand and cross-school operations.