The legal profession was once again thrown into total disarray in the minds of no-one at all following a damning report which revealed the shocking truth that law continues, as it has done for centuries, to be dominated by rich, white, middle-class men.
The report, by would-be Prime Minister Alan Milburn, found that the legal profession was among the worst offenders for promoting Oxbridge males over, well, er, everyone else. Milburn promised a ‘more level playing field’ for those of a disadvantaged social background, saying the profession needed more intelligent but common young people from sinkhole estates littered with burned-out cars.
Henry Ponsonby-Smythe, a senior lawyer, condemned the report. ‘This is utter rubbish. Everyone knows that success in today’s legal profession is nothing to do with race, creed, colour, gender, sexual orientation or social background, and everything to do with having the willingness to record billable hours until your eyes bleed. If you can do that and you’re not some black lesbian in a wheelchair with body odour and funny glasses, then you’ll be promoted to partner. The fact that most of the City law firms have fewer than 10% women partners, hardly anyone from an ethnic minority and virtually no-one who grew up within five miles of a council estate unless their private school had bought the land to flatten it is entirely coincidental.’
The Law Society hit back at the accusations with the release of a new pamphlet entitled: ‘Dream On’, copies of which were later found mouldering in large bundles in wastebins all around Lincoln’s Inn. A spokesman also rejected the criticism that the Society’s budget has increased every single year since 1084 without any discernible benefit to either the legal profession or those it serves.
Deirdre Viaduct of the Association of Trainee Lawyers said she envisaged a day when every department in every law firm would have its own crèche, and foresaw corporate transactions being overseen by jobsharing mothers from the North who would come to work in a shellsuit and who would finish at 5pm on the dot. She was later sacked by her firm.
Ponsonby-Smythe, the senior partner of Viaduct’s firm, said the sacking was entirely justified. ‘Deidre, while being a good lawyer and coming from an underprivileged background, simply had to go. She made a number of errors which made it clear to us that she would not make a good partner, such as passing the port the wrong way at the all-trainee dinner last month, and made a terrible showing at the firm’s sports day in the grouse-shooting, croquet and polo.’