The Law Society and Bar Council are set to contribute to a review of social mobility led by the government’s social mobility chief, Alan Milburn.
The review has been launched alongside a government white paper on social mobility. Former Bar Council chairman Geoffrey Vos will sit on Milburn’s commission.
Desmond Browne QC, the current chairman of the Bar Council, said: “Any profession which places obstacles in the way of talented aspirants joining its ranks would be undermining its own best interests as well as failing to serve the public.”
“No one should ever be deterred from a career at the Bar by the thought that “it is just not for me”. Misconceptions of that sort too easily become self-fulfilling prophecies.”
Law Society president Paul Marsh said: “This initiative is timely and goes to the heart of what the Law Society is trying to achieve for the promotion of social mobility within the solicitors profession. We believe that social mobility is an issue and we will be feeding into Alan Milburn’s work.”
Law Society figures show that 59.9% of entrants into the legal profession were women and 22.6% were from a minority ethnic group last year, compared with 52.6% and 16.6% for the same groups ten years ago.
Marsh added: “In comparison with many other occupations like engineering and architecture, the solicitors’ profession has a relatively good record with respect to the entry of women and ethnic minorities, but we are always looking at ways to increase the diversity profile and break down the barriers to entry to the legal profession.”