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The ‘poshness’ test

Earlier in the summer new research from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty commission caused controversy with its ruminations on the proportion of private school educated students finding their way into the “top of the society”. Chiefly by looking at the percentage who find their way into the top echelons of their career sector. That includes looking at job roles like court judges. Whilst there’s nothing the UK likes better than reflecting on class divide in its society, how diverse really is the legal profession in the UK?

What might surprise you is that on both the solicitor and barrister side both the The Bar Standards Board and Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have been actively tracking and reporting this information. The Bar Standards Board does so in its yearly “Bar Barometer” report. The SRA goes a step further and in 2011 announced that all firms regulated by the SRA would be required yearly to collect, report and publish workforce diversity data about the diversity make-up of their workforce. When it comes to publishing the data they can choose when during that 12 months and they aren’t required to report sexual orientation, and religion or belief. But all else is there to see.

Would this information influence your shortlist of Firms/Chambers?

David Gilchrist

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