The industry-leading social mobility access scheme for future commercial lawyers



Why Supernova is the industry gold-standard.

Future potential - not past achievement.
If you already have a stellar profile, you wouldn't need our help, right?
Unlimited support.
Whether it's 10 hours or 100 hours you need to get to where you want to be, we got you.
Apply to firms that suit you, not us.
We provide support for all applications - even if it's not to our sponsors. Priority support will apply to sponsor firms only.
STRIVE x BARBRI: Scholarships

Financial support for SQE Preparation

We've teamed up with our friends at BARBRI to provide exclusive scholarships & discounts for the SQE1:


50% off SQE1
2 scholars from each Supernova cohort will be hand-picked from an assessment centre-based selection process to receive a 50% reduction to the SQE1 course provided by BARBRI.


Supernova-exclusive reduction
15% off SQE 1
All Supernova Associates will automatically be eligible for a 15% reduction to the SQE1 preparation course with BARBRI.
How Supernova works

The best of all worlds

1-to-many workshops, plus

unlimited 1:1 support


Weekly Workshops
October - November
For 6 weeks, you will go through intensive 2-hour workshops to give you the theoretical grounding for everything you need to know to succeed in VS/TC applications.


Unlimited 1:1 Mentorship
November - July
Now that you have a theoretical understanding of what makes a good application, it's time to apply that knowledge to your apps with the help of your mentor!


Events & Opportunities
November - July
Throughout the academic year, STRIVE partners with firms and other organisations (previously including Travers Smith and BARBRI) to give you an extra leg up.
Do you have what it takes?
🔥 A burning desire to succeed

against all odds.

Supernova is aimed at aspiring commercial solicitors of all (metaphorical) shapes and sizes:

  • Small tick
    Whether you want to make it big in the City, or stay closer to home and work at national firms
  • Whether you're still at uni, or graduated long ago
  • Whether you're a career changer looking to switch to law after another career, or want to get into law fresh out of uni

Our potential-based approach ensures that unconventional talent like you don't slip through the cracks.The hallmarks of a Supernova Associate are:

  • 1
    Determination: We're talking Mount Kilimanjaro level!
  • 2
    Richard Branson's ambition
  • 3
    Intellect beyond grades: e.g. entrepreneurship, resilience, grit

“It is no exaggeration to say that being a STRIVE Supernova mentee was a life changing experience. It made achieving a Training Contract seem more realistic to me; having had no professional network as a first generation university student and lawyer. I believe that being a STRIVE mentee was the catalyst moment for my increased success in applications and interviews, eventually leading to my Training Contract.”

Emily Digby
Emily attended a non-selective state school and was the first generation in her family to attend university. She secured a Training Contract a White & Case.
Man with clean shaven face and suit

“This journey has been unbelievable for me, that I could come from such a low point in my life to securing two placements at two of my dream firms, and I am excited to experience the next stage of my career in law.”

Jonathan Royal
Vacation Scheme converted to Training Contract at both Freshfields and Herbert Smith Freehills

“STRIVE has been successful in creating a wonderful cohort of supportive individuals. This is so important when applying for vacation schemes/training contracts because you can speak to other people in the same position as you, as well as get advice from individuals who aren’t looking at you as a competitor, but instead a colleague.”

Zoe Yerolemou
Vacation Scheme at Travers Smith, Vacation Scheme and Training Contract at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP)
Are you our next Supernova Associate?

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for Supernova, you must satisfy the requirements under all three parts below.

Part A: Social Mobility Requirements

You must currently be of a low socio-economic status in order to ensure our assistance reaches only those who need it most. Common indicators include (but are certainly not limited to: low income household, eligible for free school meals, be the first generation to go to university, first-/second-gen immigrant). If you have been approved as a STRIVE Member (which in any case is an eligibility requirement under Part C), you will by definition have met the requirements under Part A, as only socially mobile candidates will be approved for Membership.

Part B: Academic Requirements

  1. For secondary schooling, you must have attended:
    a non-selective state school for their GCSE and A-levels; or a selective state school for their GCSE and A-levels; or a paid (public/private) school which was funded by a means-tested scholarship/bursary.
  2. For A-Levels and university, you must have already achieved ABB or above at A-level (or equivalent)*. We also consider A-Level alternative qualifications; and a 2:1 (expected or achieved) in your undergraduate degree in any degree discipline from any university*
    * Even if you do not fulfil one or both of these criteria, if this was caused by extenuating circumstances, you are still be eligible to apply.

Part C: Membership Requirements

Supernova is only open to STRIVE Members, so you must have already been accepted as a STRIVE Member by the time you apply for Supernova. Click here to apply for STRIVE Membership - it's quick and easy!

Sounds good?

Thinking of applying?

We can't wait to hear from you.
Applications will reopen in Summer 2024


How long does the Programme last, and when does it begin/end?
The Programme cycle mirrors the academic year. Supernova starts in October every year, and ends in July.
Will Supernova help me with applications to any firm, or only a select list of STRIVE partner firms?
Unlike many other social mobility programmes out there, we do not restrict help based on which firm you are applying to. Our goal is to help you get into a firm that suits you - not a firm that suits us. Whether it's a big City law firm or a mid-sized national firm you're after, our support to you will be the same.
Is Supernova free of charge?
Absolutely - and it always will be. The social mobility gap does not need to be any wider than it already is!
I don't meet the grade requirements. Should I still bother applying?
Yes! If you believe that extenuating and/or contextual circumstances have prevented your grades from reflecting your full potential (i.e. either there were unforeseeable events that affected your grades, or your social mobility meant that you were in an environment that was not conducive to you fulfilling your potential), you are still eligible to apply to us. Plenty of Supernova Associates do not meet our requirements on paper but prove to be outstanding - and they end up securing Vacation Schemes and Training Contracts.

However, please make sure that you make extenuating/contextual circumstances clear on your application form, and provide as much detail as possible.
Who are the mentors and how will they be allocated to me?
Mentors fall under one of the below categories: (1) future Trainee Solicitors/TC offer holders, (2) current Trainee Solicitors, or (3) more senior lawyers (e.g. Associates, Partners). Most will be at City law firms (both UK and US firms), but a few will be at mid-sized national firms in order to cater to everybody's career aspirations.

Many of our mentors are Supernova alumni and as a result have a deep knowledge of how Supernova works as well as the unique culture here at STRIVE. They choose to give up their valuable time to reach their hand back down the ladder because they are themselves socially mobile and resonate with STRIVE's unique mission, vision and culture.

As far as possible, we will try to allocate a mentor that aligns with your stated career aspirations.
How selective/competitive is the programme?
We receive an increasing number of applications year on year; as of 2021-22, the ratio is around 1:5. However, please bear in mind our unique potential-based recruitment approach - even if you feel you do not have a stellar CV that would 'typically' make it into law, we urge you to still apply as we believe that high potential can be hidden beneath 'unlikely' candidates.
Any tips for submitting a winning application to Supernova?
Over the years we have read our fair share of applications - both good and bad. Here are a few handy tips to make sure you end up in the 'good' category:
  1. Max out the word count: bad applications tend to be short. If you're allowed 150 words, get your answer up to at least 140 words. Any less than that means you aren't giving us enough information - information which other applicants who max out the word count will be giving us.
  2. Apply early: applications are screened on a rolling basis, and we do tend to get an influx of applications a few days to a few minutes (!) before applications close. This has meant that we've previously had to reject great candidates who simply did not apply early enough.
  3. Proofread: it may seem obvious, but we've seen more error-laden applications than you can imagine. If you have a learning disability (or even if you don't), get a friend/family member to read over your application before you send it through - Supernova is incredibly competitive and, unfortunately, applications littered with errors tend to end up in the 'no' pile even before interview.
  4. Be specific with your social mobility: here at STRIVE, we're all about supporting socially mobile candidates. This means that, if we do not see evidence of social mobility, we will not be able to invite you to interview. Please therefore include as much detail as you can - rest assured that all information you provide will be treated with the strictest confidence.
If I get accepted onto Supernova, am I guaranteed a Vacation Scheme/Training Contract?
No. Being part of Supernova is an incredible way to increase your chances at securing a VS/TC offer at your desired firm(s) because of the intensive, tailored training we provide you. However, there is no guarantee that you will be able to secure any VS/TC offers.

That being said, there are a couple of points that of interest:
  1. Supernova gives you how much you put into it; we find that Associates who end up receiving VS/TC offers are those who engage actively during the Workshops, are organised with managing the time for applying to firms alongside their studies/work, and request help from mentors frequently.
  2. If you are unable to receive a VS/TC offer within the first year, you are always welcome to re-apply to Supernova the following cycle. A significant portion of Supernova Associates are repeat students.
  3. Being part of Supernova gives you many exclusive opportunities that you will not find anywhere else - scholarships, networking events and job opportunities. Again, while these opportunities do not directly guarantee that you'll get a VS/TC, it does maximise your chances by expanding your network and enhancing your CV.
What's the commitment?
For the first 3 weeks of Supernova, you will need to attend a 2-hour workshop twice every week (that comes to 6 Workshops overall), unless you provide advance notice with good reason and our team approves the request.

After that, Supernova is really what you make of it - we offer unlimited 1:1 mentorship as well as plenty of ad hoc Supernova-exclusive opportunities (e.g. networking opportunities), but it's up to you to take ownership and make the most of what's on offer. STRIVE is not a place where we breathe down your neck and chase you to take charge of your own future - you are in charge, and we're here to support you every step of the way.

Should you need to re-apply to Supernova in the following cycle, we will assess your re-application in light of how much you have been making use of the help we offer you; the more engaged you are with us and your mentor, the more likely we are to offer you a place on the Programme again.
What's the application process like?
We follow a 2-stage application process: (1) written application form, and (2) live video interview (not recorded!).