Diversity league table: female lawyers react

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  • Have i lost my mind or did I just read a misprint? The "Black Solicitors Network", being mentioned in an article regards diversity? The name itself (Black Solicitors) implies blacks only need apply, right?

    DISCLAIMER:

    I am also a member of an ethnic minority, and in no way support such a body, full stop.

    As an example, ONLY:

    What if someone were to establish a "White Solicitors Network", or would that be considered racist? The name itself tells you all you need to know, or?

    Get serious, we're Lawyers not patrons in a comedy club in Camden.

    Shalom

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  • Dr Visotsky, I completely agree with you. Surely one body to ensure equality for all would be in itself more equal? I write this as a female would-be solicitor but I have no intention of joining any Women Solicitor Network if there is such a thing as I believe that there is no such thing as "positive" discrimination - only discrimination. Like when the Bar was encouraged to cap its levels of poeple of certain ethnic minorities - that is blatant racism against people who may be highly skilled but were ejected on the basis of the colour of their skin. If it were the other way around there would be outcry. I know it is all an effort to stop the 'old boys network' but the only way to REALLY do that is to take out the race, secual orientation and gender questions in all applications and allow true blind selection based on skill and merit. As for equal rights, noone should be denied them or given extra on the basis of their gender or skin colour etc. It is wrong.

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  • Hmmmm, anonymous, I fear you speak from the enviable position of never having faced direct discrimination. Lucky for you, but never forget that it does exist. True blind selection sounds great - how do you propose to ensure that it is applied?
    For those of us who have been unlucky enough to encounter discrimination in any of its myriad forms, there can be comfort and empowerment in gender/race/class specific groups. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss them. No good fight can be fought entirely alone.

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  • Yes Julie I have actually - how much you assume! The best way to get rid of something is to not give it any platform in society. "Positive" discrimination is unjustificable in any sense anyway as it is discrimination nonetheless - and people would be affected just as much for not being BME/female/LGBT as if they were in the normal run of things. Blind selection would not take a massive amount of effort up to interview stage and thereon out be just as enforceable as other measures. And yes there may be "comfort" in groups dedicated to people with the same skin colour/genitals/etc as yourself but to those on the outside it can be frightening and worrying - especially if people from those groups campaign for and get rights not available to those outside eligibility for those groups.
    Either campaign for REAL equality or keep schtum.

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  • Whilst I think Anonymous's comments are somewhat naive, she is correct that (what she describes as) "blind" selection, for want of a better way of putting it, is actually quite easy prior to interview stage - indeed it is already undertaken by a number of public/quasi public organisations who require you to fill out an application form and will not see your CV or any ID details. They then produce a shortlist for interview (at which point of course the middle aged, grey haired white, former public school boys all pat each other on the back and give each other jobs/promotions).

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  • Just to clarify with regards to some of the above comments the Black Solicitors Network in no way endorses positive discrimination or discrimination of any sort for the matter. Our Network of legal professionals is extremely diverse and inclusive of all ethnicities. There are various legal and other professional networks which identify themselves as representing one minority however does not preclude membership from those who do not consider themselves to fall into the categorisation. It may be worth while however if more attention is placed on the important findings discussed in the above article and less on critiquing minor factors such as 'names' which is simply that a name.

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  • "The best way to get rid of something is not to give it any platform in society" - there is so much that's wrong with that statement that I hardly know where to begin, although I'll just run domestic violence and child sex abuse past you. It's precisely because some problems have been hidden/ignored that we face the problems we do.
    Bit rich to tell someone to keep schtum when posting anonymously, by the way.

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