Ethnic minority students on the up at degree level

Ethnic minority students made up almost a third of students accepted to first degree law courses last year, new figures from the Law Society reveal.

The statistics, published annually, show that 29.8 per cent of students starting undergraduate law degrees for the academic year 2004 in England and Wales were from an ethnic minority. This is an increase from 2003, when ethnic minority students made up 26.5 per cent.

In total, 11,506 students started law degrees in 2004, of which 3,342 were either mixed race or from an ethnic minority. Asian students made up 2,058, while black students numbered just 794.

The number of ethnic minority solicitors rose by 9 per cent to 8,775. Ethnic minorities account for 8.7 per cent of the total practising certificates held and 18 per cent of new admissions.

Women now make up more than 40 per cent of the solicitors’ profession, the figures show. The total number of solicitors with practising certificates rose by 4 per cent between 2004 and 2005, reaching a high of 100,938 in July last year, while the number of female solicitors went up by 7 per cent to 41,967.