Eversheds heads effort to increase diversity

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  • If law firms keep looking for students who have done well at school from the age of 5, they will not end up with much diversity. It is after all only a certain type of person who was that focused on their career as a child!

    Also, a girl from a minority ethnic community might not have received any encouragement at all, when she was a child, to pursue a career. Accordingly, she may not have excelled at school. That does not mean she would not make a great lawyer - on the contrary.

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  • Its very very very easy for firms to pay lip service to diversity and that's all most of them do. I'd like to think that this time will be different but history speaks for itself....

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  • It is worth noting that past editorials of Eversheds and its diversity proposals and achievements have not mentioned anything about disabled students/trainees/solicitors but has been more focussed on ethnic diversity achievements. Once again disability is the FORGOTTEN and IGNORED aspect of diversity. WHEN are firms going to consider disabled people??
    Katherine Everard (past Chairperson of Law Society Group for Solicitors with Disabilities - now LDD)

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  • I'm a little confused by this- at my firm there is no shortage of lawyers of Asian and "Oriental" descent.

    Plenty of diversity already from where I'm standing.

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  • What a joke - considering the first to be axed from the Eversheds Leeds Property in the phase 1 of redundancies were the only 2 non-white lawyers!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Having worked in private practice for almost 10 years, I honestly do not believe for a second that there is any discrimination within law firms on the grounds of skin colour.

    I do not know a single one of my colleagues who would make any distinction between a black/white/asian candidate at an interview.

    I think the real "diversity" problem is not so much race, as it is social class. There are several black lawyers in my department (City firm), but they mostly come from the quintissential privileged background- private school all their life, followed by a top uni.

    The truth is, that it certainly makes it more difficult for those who haven't come from such a background (educated parents, private school etc) to feel at home in a City law firm.

    Distinguishing on the basis of ethnic background/skin colour however, and trying to increase the amount of people from ethnic minorities in law firms is totally the wrong way to go about things.

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  • Brian, how do you arrive at the conclusion that blacks and others who come from underprivileged backgrounds wont feel at home in a city firm? It is this stereotypical attitude by city firms that underprivileged background means you are not good enough for city which needs change. I feel insulted when people have opinions about people they have never given a chance.
    This initiative is just a deliberate ploy by the city to be seen to be doing something.

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  • Does any of this debate consider opportunities for those with disabilities? i assume not!!!!

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  • I am an unemployed minority attorney from the United States. I did attend private school, and I possess a law degree from a top American and French law school. I speak and write French fluently, and I speak some Spanish.

    Lawyers and judges alike have said that I am an excellent lawyer. I'm married and stable. What's the problem now? Now I'm told that, after accomplishing all that, I'm too old and too expensive.

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  • Brian is right. Diversity is a laudable objective, but firms should hire the best qualified candidate - in an insanely competitive market and sky high fee rates clients deserve the best service possible, and it should come from the best lawyer without reference to race, creed, sex or other. This initiative sounds like a filter which will inappropriately exclude qualified candidates on precisely the grounds it purports to be championing.

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  • "Brian, how do you arrive at the conclusion that blacks and others who come from underprivileged backgrounds wont feel at home in a city firm? It is this stereotypical attitude by city firms that underprivileged background means you are not good enough for city which needs change. I feel insulted when people have opinions about people they have never given a chance."
    Please, stop being so chippy. In life, people usually get on better with people from their own backgrounds. It's just the way life works. Most City lawyers would feel totally out of place on a builders' site chatting with construction workers.
    They come from different worlds, have different lingo, different senses of humour etc.
    Some people have brilliant social skills and can get on with people, whatever their backgrounds. Those people will succeed at a City firm regardless of their backgrounds.
    On the other hand, some working class people simply do not have the right skills to mingle with upper-class financiers for example.
    Sorry, it works both ways. As much as you may say I'm a despicable individual, I can't tell you the number of times I've been in a working class pub and had a comment made about my "posh" accent.
    Deal with it.

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  • Brian,

    As it turns out, I agree with you. As I mentioned, I am a minority with a 'posh' background. Years ago, I was in-house counsel for a large company. I literally had more formal education than anyone in the company. Moreover, they were so low class, I could not tolerate the situation. Their crass jokes, their lack of culture, their low level vocabulary and poor hygiene made me cringe. They assumed because I was a minority that I was at their level. They said I did not belong there. Finally, their jealousy and group mentality traumatised me.

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  • Glad to see the old buffers have seen sense at last. When i was interviewed there for a senior solicitor post in 1990 I was asked if I was "a practising homosexual". I replied I was and the interview was terminated very soon after. The recuitment agent responded with "you were too candid about your personal life!" I replied by saying that is imperative that a practising solictor is honest in all his dealings. cell a vie

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