Firms rail against diversity monitoring

A marked backlash against the diversity movement in the UK legal profession is growing, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by The Lawyer.

The survey found that just 32 per cent of lawyers agreed that in-house counsel or clients should monitor law firms’ diversity.

The study showed that 38 per cent of lawyers either disagree or strongly disagree with clients monitoring diversity strategies, while 28 per cent neither agreed or disagreed and 2 per cent did not know.

Similarly, 41 per cent of lawyers did not agree that law firms should monitor their suppliers’ diversity schemes and only 31 per cent thought they should.

Most lawyers are in favour of supporting initiatives that encourage pupils from comprehensive schools entering the legal profession.

Of the lawyers surveyed, 67 per cent agreed that such initiatives for comprehensive students would be good for the profession. Only 15 per cent disagreed that programmes in comprehensive schools were useful for future recruitment.

However, lawyers were a bit more divided on the idea of recruiting from less prestigious universities.

According to the survey, 37 per cent agreed with recruiting from non-traditional universities, while 44 per cent disagreed. The remaining 20 per cent did not have an opinion on the issue.