Diversity in legal profession growing, say Law Society

New statistics published this week by the Law Society show that the proportion of practising solicitors from ethnic minorities now matches that of the national population.

The society’s Annual Statistical Report shows that the percentage of practising solicitors in England and Wales from ethnic minorities increased from 7 per cent in 2002 to 7.9 per cent last year. This figure is in line with the UK population as a whole, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The report states that 17 per cent of new entrants to the profession in 2003 came from ethnic minorities – more than one in six. Over half (54.3 per cent) of the solicitors from ethnic minorities holding practising certificates work in London.

The report also shows that women now account for 39.7 per cent of solicitors with practising certificates. This figure has more than doubled in the last decade.

More than a third of all solicitors, 37.3 per cent, work in firms which have 26 or more partners – although these account for only 1.6 per cent of law firms in England and Wales.