Government body’s report criticises ‘slow’ move from elitism in legal sector

Government body’s report criticises ‘slow’ move from elitism in legal sector

The top jobs in the legal sector are still dominated by private schools, with ‘patchy evidence of Law, Medicine and Accountancy attempting to widen their search for talent’, according to a report published today by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty (SMCP) Commission.

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Freshfields supports BITC campaign by removing criminal history question from application forms

Freshfields supports BITC campaign by removing criminal history question from application forms

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has opted to remove questions relating to criminal history from its job application forms in a bid to assess job seekers for its business services and support services functions on the basis of merit.

The Magic Circle firm says it is the first law firm to remove the criminal-record disclosure box from its preliminary application forms so job seekers are not excluded because of unrelated criminal convictions.

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DISSENT: Do you know Titian? Berating law firms on social mobility belies commercial realities

RollOnFriday founder Matthew Rhodes argues it is education – not an increasingly meritocratic profession – that is to blame for lack of social mobility in law.

Earlier this year Westminster School offered a mini-pupillage at a barrister’s chambers as a lot in a charity auction. The story hit the national press – The Guardian fumed: ‘Fancy a career in the law? A mini-pupillage with a criminal barrister can be Freddie’s for offers over £650.’ The Social Mobility Foundation complained, the Bar Standards Board felt obliged to investigate. All hell broke loose, over a week’s work experience for a teenager.

A bit of an overreaction? Given the kicking the profession is currently getting for not providing sufficiently broad access, perhaps it’s an understandable one.

I declare an interest: I went to Westminster. A few weeks before this story broke I attended a dinner for lawyers who had been at the school. The 80-odd guests that turned up included five High Court judges, the Attorney General and the President of the Supreme Court. From just one school. Alan Milburn, whose 2012 ‘Fair Access to Professional Careers’ report castigated the profession for not doing enough to encourage social diversity, would have had a seizure.

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Freshfields to provide scholarships for aspiring black lawyers

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is launching a scholarship with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust (SLCT) to help students from black and ethnic minorities gain access to the profession.

The scholarship will allow four successful male candidates committed to pursuing a career in the legal profession to receive a £3,500 annual contribution towards living expenses, as well as training, mentoring, work experience at Freshfields and a guaranteed interview for a training contract.

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Freshfields partners with Stephen Lawrence charity to provide scholarships to aspiring black lawyers

Freshfields partners with Stephen Lawrence charity to provide scholarships to aspiring black lawyers

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is launching a scholarship with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust (SLCT) to help students from black and ethnic minorities gain access to the profession, in the latest of a string of diversity initiatives in law.

The scholarship will allow four successful male candidates committed to pursuing a career in the legal profession to receive a £3,500 annual contribution towards living expenses, training, mentoring, work experience at Freshfields and a guaranteed interview for a training contract.

Continue reading “Freshfields partners with Stephen Lawrence charity to provide scholarships to aspiring black lawyers”