The following article was published by The Guardian on July 13th, 2012
Professor Gus John, the chair of the diversity group advising the biggest review of training for lawyers in thirty years, has issued a call for “affirmative action” to compel the legal profession to recruit more students from lower socio-economic backgrounds into its ranks.
Speaking at Wednesday’s legal education and training review (LETR) symposium in Manchester, John lamented “systems at work in the legal profession that are impervious to diversity initiatives”.
The fellow of the London Centre for Leadership in Learning said that it had become established practice for City law firms and leading barristers‘ chambers to recruit from a “narrow pool” of candidates with top class degrees from Oxbridge or Russell Group universities.
This “inclusion of some” had led to “exclusion of others” – namely, bright students from ex-polytechnics – John added. He emphasised that he regarded this latter group as on a par ability-wise with many of their counterparts at big name universities. Read the rest of this entry →