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Hogan Lovells mulls joining the blind CV rush

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  • Interesting - I remember being told by the Director of HR at Hogan Lovells when I was looking for a training contract that there was effectively no point in me applying there because I wasn't Oxbridge.

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  • Any candidate worth their salt seeking to "sell themselves" is going to mention an Oxbridge/high-end private education at which point the whole blind-CV process becomes a complete waste of time.

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  • So what happens if someone walks into the interview and says "Hi, I'm James Toff-Smythe, I loved my Eton days and Cambridge is a wonderful place to be a student!"? Do they get kicked out of the interview for breaking the rules? If they don't, then this whole thing seems rather pointless.

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  • Anonymous 9:37am - Well you have been told a load of rubbish given the fact that there are many trainees taken on each year at Hogan Lovells who didn't go to Oxbridge. I don't buy people who believe that certain firms are accessible only to those who attended Oxbridge and none of the UK firms have an 'Oxbridge only' policy. Even the elite US firms here in London who take on far fewer trainees have a good number of their intake that didn't attend Oxbridge - anyone that thinks it is a concrete barrier is misguided.

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  • These comments are all ridiculous.

    HL is already doing a great job on this front. Their intakes are, generally, some of the most diverse amongst the top 10 City firms.

    I wonder whether those suggesting that interview candidates might walk in and announce their education history to their interviewers, unprompted, have ever actually had an interview with the sort of firm where Oxbridge bias is an issue.

    The idea that an HR director, anywhere, might openly say something like 'Oxbridge only' to a prospective candidate is equally laughable.

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  • Reading these comments it seems that the HR department at HL are upset at my somewhat flippant question at 12.59. I am very sorry that you have had your sense of humour removed, is that also part of the HL recruitment process?

    However, my question was a genuine one. I know many partners who would would favour a candidate with Oxbridge education over other candidates and, quite frankly, in a TC interview it is hard to get away from talking about your university experiences, so what does happen if a candidate comes to the interview and ends up talking about how the candidate and the interviewer were at the same college at Cambridge? I am curious as to how this works in practice.

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  • There has been much discussion of this on the Legal Cheek site among commenters.
    The general feeling was certainly that these policies are nothing more than cheap PR.

    Firstly, the CV will still be viewed at every other stage, before and after interview. So it's not a CV blind application, it's a CV blind interview, which will fail to be so as soon as you have to answer any question that relates to your skills, experience or interests, because all will likely be linked to your university experiences.

    Secondly, it's hard to see how CV blind policies help social diversity. Oxford puts more emphasis on and more money into access efforts than any other university (I assume Cambridge is similar). By saying "no CV", you are stopping social climbing. All those kids (most of the student body) who came from state comprehensives are now unable to show off their achievements. The well educated, well spoken private school applicant who didn't get into Oxbridge may well come across better in interview than the state educated applicant who got into Oxbridge. This removes meritocracy from the equation. If anything this may put OFF those hard working state educated Oxbridge candidates from applying. Not to mention all the other Oxbridge pupils who may get pissed off that their hard work and ability now count for nothing.

    So it's hard to see how the policies will work exactly. Oxbridge is already diverse in its inclusion of many state educated students - not looking at university degree takes away everything that they have achieved. However, it doesn't seem like the CVs will be "blind" throughout the process, only during interview.

    The issues, therefore, doesn't seem to be social mobility; it seems to be biased partners who love Oxbridge far too much and let it blind their views. If this is your problem then it is laudable to try and stop it. But claiming CV blind is anything more than this, and that it has any real importance in the application process, is just PR.

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