Prentice adds spice to diversity argument

As the nursery rhyme has it, sugar and spice are the main ingredients of little girls, while their brothers tend to be more partial to slugs and snails and puppy dogs’ tails.

It seems that law firms tend to think in equally sweeping terms: if you’re a female lawyer you may find yourself pushed towards family law, if you like it or not. And ethnic minority lawyers may suddenly find themselves encouraged to become experts in immigration law.

That’s according to Justice Minister Bridget Prentice, speaking today at The Lawyer’s diversity conference. See story.

She also says firms are still slow in reporting their diversity statistics, with only six more firms publishing their data compared with last year. That’s 60 of the top 100 who aren’t opening up. To paraphrase Prentice herself last year: what are you afraid of?

Meanwhile, some of London’s top women lawyers gathered last night at the annual Women in Law conference to hear the inspirational Baroness Fritchie speak.

To sum up a woman lawyer’s lot, one of the hosts, Louise Nash of Covington & Burling, quoted Ginger Rogers: “I did everything Fred did, only backwards and in high heels.”

The full shortlist for The Lawyer Awards can be found at www.thelawyer.com/awards.