LSB to quiz all lawyers on parents’ education

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  • It will be interesting to see how all these new "social mobility" champions react when, in 20 years time, their children are being put at a disadvantage simply because their parents worked hard, and had good jobs.
    "Oh it's different for my little Johnny because his grandparents had crap jobs"
    I am yet to hear a good answer for what to do with the people who are bright, but are socially engineered out of good universities and good jobs simply because of their parents' education.
    I am not one of these, for the record.

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  • Why does the graph for those called to the Bar in 2009 appear to show that Men and Women each represent over 50% of the intake?

    On a less picky note, it is interesting that there is a significantly greater % BME intake to the Bar than as Trainee Solicitors. Does anyone know why this should be?

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  • This type of questioning to lawyers will hopefully highlight the social barriers to entering into the profession and bring about opportuinites being created for students from working class backgrounds, or simply with no connection to the profession, to match those from more privileged backgrounds.

    with regard to the comment that these plans '[appear] to overlook the possiblity that if both parents went to uni they might just have more able and intelligent children' is quite a ridculous comment and missing the point. Non-graduate parents may well be just as, if not more intelligent, than those of the graduate calibre but have not had the opportunity and acess. This over-represntation of the profession is precisely what is trying to be ammended!!!

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  • The barrister/solicitor graphics are hardly comparable, which answers Tim Child's question: you can be called to the Bar without any selection having been applied against you (other than entry to University) - the BVC providers are in it for the money, so the only obstacle there is willingness to take on a huge debt. If you pass the BVC, call to the Bar follows (but not of course the right to call yourself a barrister). A traineeship by contrast depends on overcoming the (currently substantial) further obstacle of having been selected by a firm for a training place.
    A valid comparison would have been pupillages/traineeships, but one can't expect much rigour from the Pol Pots of the LSB. As Anon at 9.41 points out, the logical conclusion of the emoting behind this exercise is that if someone from a disadvantaged background makes it to the City, they thereby become a class enemy, and their children must be held back, but never mind, at least their grandchildren will then be entitled to victim status. This is not so much a social ladder as a see-saw. The claim that "It’s not about social engineering. You need to ask the ­questions to make sure you don’t inadvertently block access to the profession” won't wash; how can ignorance of whether a candidate's parents went to University lead an interviewer "inadvertently" to block that candidate's access to the profession? Most interviewers will select on the basis of the candidate's intrinsic merits, but since State schools have largely abandoned the concept of academic merit (ironically, precisely in order to follow the sort of misguided agenda now being pursued by the LSB), it's pretty obvious that many of the best candidates will not have been to a State school.

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  • Perhaps the better approach would be to attempt to prevent privileged candidates cashing in on their parents' contacts in the profession. Mummy and daddy going to oxbridge means a lot less than mummy and daddy went to oxbridge with half the board.

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  • 95% of the lawyers at an MC firm would not have got where they are had it not been for their parents. Mummy and Daddy = rich, Mummy and Daddy = buy good school, school + Mummy and Daddy money = good university, school + good university = MC training contract. Simple. Fact. Good grades at school and university are not earnt by MC lawyers, they are bought by Mummy and Daddy. Law is a natural step up for rich kids who can then go to work with the same people they went to school, university and Mummy and Daddy's summer horse riding party with. Most of them will be going to Will and Kate's wedding too I bet.

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  • I went to Oxbridge and am an associate at a top 10 firm. Neither of my parents went to university - my dad left school at 16 with few qualifications. But he worked hard to give me the opportunities he didn't have - extremely hard - and he instilled the same work ethic in me. My sister and I were the first people in our family to go to university. I doubt anyone in my family had ever met a solicitor, let alone knew the board of any law firm. I am by no means in the minority in my department (or amongst my contemporaries at Oxbridge), many of whom are from a similar background. So you will forgive me for finding many of the assumptions about Oxbridge-educated solicitors at City firms irritating, inaccurate and patronising.

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  • @ Jack Wilshire | 18-Feb-2011 1:34 pm
    "Good grades at school and university are not earnt by MC lawyers, they are bought by Mummy and Daddy."
    About time you grew up and stopped looking for excuses. You're not the cleverest. It has little if nothing to do with your parents' wealth or otherwise. Learn to embrace that.

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  • Slightly on a tangent but has anyone else from a "non-diverse" background (according to the various definitions firms use: education, finances, parental background, age, ethnicity, etc) found the recent rash of Diversity Access Schemes incredibly frustrating? - I do not have poor A-Level results, or come from a deprived area, and my parents' finances are reasonably healthy due to their lifetimes of independent business.. but in the interests of positive discrimination, I am unable to apply within these reduced pools of candidates.
    Peers who are eligible to apply (and have done so) have agreed that beyond A-Levels it is the candidate that takes the reigns, not any background facts..

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  • Anon - 0:28am above makes a good point.
    It's very easy for people who just haven't made the grade to start trying to blame everything and everyone but themselves for their failure. I am at a Russell Group university, not Oxbridge, and of the hundreds who do law here, all those who are bright, hard working and who have really put their minds to obtaining Vac Schemes, TCs etc have done so. Some are privately educated, some not. Some are very wealthy, others less so. The thing common to all is that they work hard without being reclusive and take part in extra-curricular activities etc.
    It's about being a rounded person. What I find particularly repugnant is how it is somehow inexcusable to state the scientific fact that intelligence is hereditary so statistically well educated couples will have brighter kids, yet it is fine to suggest that simply because of a private education I have some how not worked for what I have achieved. I'm sick of state-educated kids somehow thinking their hard work is more valuable than mine. It always seems to be those state school kids who haven't secured TCs/Vac Schemes/Pupillage etc : those who have know what it takes, and know it is not easier simply because you have been to a private school.

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