BSB study shows pupillage stereotypes persist

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  • Apparently, the English Bar is not ready for change. The problem with the pupillage recruitment system mirrors the problem we experience in society; stereotyping, stealth racism and the share lack of equal opportunity. Sadly, society will be worse off for some time to come.

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  • @Anonymous

    This doesn't seem a fair criticism. 14% of last year's pupils were BME. The BME population of the UK is around 14%. To me that indicates pretty proportional representation.

    It seems a valid question why the rate of BME applicants (26%) is higher than in both the general population and the pupil population. Either BME applicants are in fact more likely than white applicants to be better barristers, and are being discriminated against in recruitment for pupillage; or there are proportionally more BME applicants in the camp of those seeking pupillage, unsuccessfully, who have been over-optimistic about their own abilities (or were willing to take the chance and have a go at applying regardless).

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  • There is, of course, a third option: the proportion of people of a BME background is higher in the age group that applyies for pupillages than it is in the population as a whole, and the Bar is not representative.

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  • The problem with the profession is its becoming more and more far removed from business. The people selecting the future leaders of the profession naturally see "the best" candidates as those ticking the boxes they have chosen.

    Race and sex may be an issue but my experience of the UK legal profession as a whole is that those minorities chosen are chosen because they are the same as the white middle class males already running the profession not because they are from a different and bring actual diversity to the profession.

    This week, in Singapore, I was helping teach commercial managers from large Asian construction companies about Arbitration. For one section of the course we showed them a mock arbitration video with two famous QCs and an arbitrator who I did not know but was probably a barrister as well.

    The reaction of the Japanese and Koreans whose companies are actually doing a great deal of the work was why would we need people like this to solve our disputes.

    Bringing in people of a different colour skin or sex who are taught to act in a manner no different to their supervisor isn't making the profession more diverse its just just making people change..

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