We are delighted that our report on social mobility was mentioned in Jane Croft's article 'Apprenticeships are new route into legal world' in the Financial Times. The article focuses on the fact that university is no longer a requirement for would-be lawyers. Social mobility is one of our key causes and we are thrilled that our work around this area will be used to raise awareness of the issues that such potential lawyers face.
Our report, 'Opening up or shutting out? Social mobility in the legal profession', is a joint effort between Byfield Consultancy and diversity champion Funke Abimbola - General Counsel and Company Secretary for Roche, the world's largest biotech company. The report presents the results of a survey of the top 50 UK law firms and their approach to social mobility and diversity.
The legal profession has long been criticised for its lack of social mobility and its deployment of traditional recruitment methods. Many trainees at top law firms are drawn from a narrow slice of universities: a recent survey into social mobility at law firms by Byfield Consultancy found that more than 80 per cent of legal trainees at the top 50 firms were from the Russell Group of top UK universities. The apprenticeship route is being championed by the government. In September, Lord Chancellor Liz Truss was asked about how she would ensure a more diverse legal profession given the costs of a degree. She replied that she was a “huge fan of apprenticeships” and the government’s plan to create 3m apprenticeships “brings a big opportunity for some of our large legal services firms”.