Published: Sep 27, 2007
Yesterday’s post discussed some of the findings of our UK Solicitor Survey, as well as other diversity-related surveys conducted by The Lawyer and Legal Week. Some of the lawyers who took our survey commented on the limited number of lawyers of color at their firms, but seem to take it in relative stride. A litigator in the Birmingham office of Beachcroft LLP says his firm “is welcoming, but as with all firms there is a lack of ethnic minorities beyond a certain level.” Others express more concern. Remarks one experienced lawyer, “Despite the fact we live and work in London I am always surprised at how few ethnic minorities are represented in the city.”
Some respondents attribute “any shortage of diversity” to “application numbers, not lack of receptivity.” The solution to this dearth in applications, suggests a lawyer at Denton Wilde Sapte (which solicitors ranked among the top 10 firms for minorities), is to extend “recruitment to non-traditional academic institutions.” An associate at Clifford Chance (No. 8 on the same ranking) agrees that broader outreach produces results:
Along with the friendliness, I would say this is the other trait that stands Clifford Chance out from the rest. Although it does have a proportion of Oxbridge students, the majority of its trainees are the cream of the crop from universities such as Leeds, Manchester, LSE, Kings, Birmingham, Sheffield, etc, which helps the friendliness of the firm.
In that context, it’s interesting to note that according to The Lawyer’s survey, nearly half (44 percent) of UK lawyers don’t think law firms should reach out to less prestigious universities. At the same time, two-thirds of surveyed lawyers (67 percent) “believe the best way to promote diversity within the industry is to encourage young people who normally would not have considered a legal career to become lawyers.”
So the idea seems to be to cast a wider net, but don’t let anything unfamiliar filter through. At least, even if these newly inspired young people can’t find any firms willing to hire them, they won’t face the crushing debt that overwhelms many law school grads here in the States.
Stay tuned for more on lawyers and diversity.
– posted by vera
In this final post of our emotional intelligence series, good news abounds. We’ve spent the last two posts driving home the importance of emotional intelligence and exploring all the various reasons why the legal industry doesn’t have enough of it, but today we bring a message of hope.
As a law student, you are well-versed in the law from many hours of academic study, hypothetical case scenarios and legal principles. But what else might you encounter when working in the legal industry that goes beyond your classroom teachings?
In BigLaw, with annual salaries for first-year associates at most firms over the $200,000 mark, with senior associates making more than $400,000 a year,[i] and with equity partners raking in millions of dollars annually,[ii] it’s no wonder that most people see a legal career as being lucrative—and why many harbor ill will toward attorneys for the money they make. But before the point can be made that lawyers are greedy scoundrels and that attorney fees are exorbitant, one must consider:
We’re under no illusions that this post is the first to address the question of what makes a “good” junior associate (given that a quick Google search will reveal numerous identical-sounding pieces). What makes this post different is the simplicity of our suggestions that can help you from Day One.
Greetings to all the aspiring entrepreneurs out there. Very recently we spoke about some common habits of the most successful entrepreneurs, and as promised, this time we’re going to tackle some of the biggest challenges new entrepreneurs face, along with effective strategies to overcome them.