“Real challenges” for large law firms in improving diversity, says SRA

“Real challenges” for large law firms in improving diversity, says SRA

The largest firms (50+ partners) have the lowest proportions of female partners, ethnic minority lawyers and disabled lawyers, when compared to other firms, and the highest proportion of lawyers who went to fee-paying schools.Some 90% of law firms reported their diversity data to the regulator in late summer 2021, representing information from 181,333 people working in 8,782 firms. The analysis includes the ‘prefer not to say’ responses, which is the approach now used for reporting diversity data.Women were underrepresented at partner level in firms of all sizes, but to a greater extent in the largest law firms – in all, 35% of partners were women (up from 34% two years earlier), but it was only 31% in the largest firms.Overall, 52% of solicitors were women and as such were under-represented in areas like criminal law (39%) and corporate law (46%).The overall proportion of Black, Asian and minority ethnic lawyers (BAME) working in law firms rose by half a percentage point to 17%, compared to 13% of the wider working population.Within that figure, allowing for rounding, 12% were Asian and 2% were Black, compared to 7% and 3% respectively of the UK workforce.Though there was only a small partnership disparity (16% of BAME lawyers were partners), “significant differences become apparent when we look at the breakdown by firm size”, the SRA said.While 8% of partners in the largest firms and 9% in firms with 10 to 50 partners were from a BAME background, the figure jumped to 23% of partners in firms with two to five partners and 35% of sole partner firms.

“Real challenges” for large law firms in improving diversity, says SRA

https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/real-challenges-for-large-law-firms-in-improving-diversity-says-sra

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