Do Prizes Have Any Point? The Potential for Diversity Initiatives to Change the Ethnic Profile of the Solicitors’ Profession

Whyte, A. 2024. Do Prizes Have Any Point? The Potential for Diversity Initiatives to Change the Ethnic Profile of the Solicitors’ Profession. in: Whyte, A., Tuitt, P. and Bourne, J. (ed.) The Long Walk to Equality London University of Westminster. pp. 77-112

Chapter titleDo Prizes Have Any Point? The Potential for Diversity Initiatives to Change the Ethnic Profile of the Solicitors’ Profession
AuthorsWhyte, A.
EditorsWhyte, A., Tuitt, P. and Bourne, J.
Abstract

By 2015, ‘BAME’ solicitors with practising certificates marginally exceeded their proportion of the working age population. This fact is the culmination of three decades of change, during which the legal profession has become more representative. Yet despite this shift, the legal profession remains stratified, with large city law firms, in particular channelling expensive legal work to privileged, white males. This chapter considers what role scholarships, awards, diversity programmes and other initiatives play in increasing ethnic diversity in the legal field and considers the potential of such initiatives to impact on law firm structure. It focuses on black males as a particularly underrepresented group. It uses Freshfields' Stephen Lawrence Scholarship (a diversity initiative), hailed as the most innovative in the city, as a case study. The chapter argues that such schemes are important in changing the culture of large city law firms and considers the potential of such schemes to effect sustained change to the “old, white male” face of the profession.

KeywordsFreshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship
Diversity Initiatives
Black Male Lawyers
Commercial Law
Legal Profession
Book titleThe Long Walk to Equality
Page range77-112
Year2024
PublisherUniversity of Westminster
Publication dates
Published21 Feb 2024
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN9781914386404
9781914386428
9781914386435
9781914386411
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.16997/book63.e
File
License
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Web address (URL)https://uwestminsterpress.co.uk/site/chapters/e/10.16997/book63.e/

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