No adversity in diversity

At the top end, the legal profession is still dominated by white, heterosexual males. But according to the Black Solicitors’ Network’s Diversity League Table figures released today, progress is being made at intake level (see story).

The proportion of ethnic minority partners at the UK’s largest firms was slightly down on last year, from 3.65 per cent to 3.53 per cent.

However, at the other end of the ladder, ethnic minority trainees form around 14 per cent of the total – a decrease on last year but a real jump from 2007, when the figure was just 10 per cent.

Wedlake Bell and Russell Jones & Walker are the most diverse firms in the top 100, and Thompson Solicitors the most diverse outside the top 100, but who is the most diverse in the top 10? Click here to find out.

Law firms’ much-vaunted diversity programmes, such as that seen at Baker & McKenzie recently (see story), appear to be working.

Clifford Chance certainly sees the value in such initiatives, publicly recognising its staff for their contribution for the first time (see story).

As the Diversity League Table shows, there’s still some to go before the law can claim to be a truly diverse profession. But whatever’s going on at Pannone, other firms should take note. Nearly half of its partnership – 43.75 per cent – is made up of women.


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