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Eversheds has teamed up with City rivals and three recruitment firms to tackle the issue of diversity in legal recruitment.
The initiative, spearheaded by Eversheds, will see 11 firms work with recruiters First Counsel, Taylor Root and Shilton Sharpe Quarry to gather diversity statistics so as to monitor access to the UK legal market.
This comes a year after the firm sparked a row with recruiters over who is to blame for the lack of diversity in the legal profession (The Lawyer, 9 June 2008).
As part of the joint project recruiters will ask candidates to complete a standard questionnaire relating to diversity data when registering. The information provided will then be collated and used by law firms as they seek to promote diversity.
Eversheds head of diversity and corporate responsibility Caroline Wilson said: “It’s easy to pay lip service to the importance of diversity. We wanted to take action and work with other firms because it’s crucial to the whole legal market.”
Wilson added that the information gathered would be a valuable tool for firms and recruiters in the future, with the data provided painting a clearer picture of the range of people seeking careers in law.
“It will take some time before sufficient data has been collected to be analysed and be useful for firms,” added Wilson. “But this is a long-term project that will benefit the legal market as a whole.”