Legal Cheek talks… law firms’ commitment to diversity

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Genuine enthusiasm, or buying appearance?


This week, Legal Cheek‘s Katie King interviewed Robert Hunter — a profoundly deaf lawyer whose experience of life as a corporate solicitor prompted him to set up his own network for disabled City professionals, City Disabilities.

The charity is going well, but having spoken to Hunter it’s clear there is a genuine concern out there that diversity in the legal profession is becoming heavily commercialised — and not for the better. Though law firms and chambers are more than keen to trumpet their pro-inclusivity mantra, some are sceptical this is a mere outward appearance, a way for firms to pay their way out of the, very real, diversity problem. Katie King and fellow journo Tom Connelly talk this through.



…and the discussion isn’t subtitled and no BSL – that answers the question about how serious the profession is about diversity – not at all.



Yeah, what a good test of the legal profession’s commitment to diversity – whether a shoestring legal comment site spends money it almost certainly doesn’t have on subtitling and a signer for its videos.

Jesus, some people.



Oh sorry, forgot, Deaf people aren’t included in your ‘diversity’ sham.



They should also transcribe this into braille….

Give it a rest, Mr Professionally Offended.



‘Mr professionally offended’? Actually, I’m a Deaf law graduate who is used to arsehole lawyers doing a horse’s laugh at diversity.


It is possible to be Deaf and sensible.



Better deaf and sensible than… er…
Hearing and a total knob!


Yup. Strange comment though.


Still a strange request demanding a small website with limited resources has subtitles and/or sign language as part of a short video blog.


I agree that a demand for signing would be OTT. But subtitles? Not that complicated to achieve, honestly. Or they could type out a transcript and put it on a separate webpage. Would take them, what, half an hour to do that?


Bet Tom wishes he’d been on holiday with KK recently.



I hope the Solicitor’s Benevolent Fund can be used to buy Tom some replacement trainers. #tragicdaps



I think many firms just don’t know how to tackle the various strands of diversity. So they throw money at the problem at the front end, with events and marketing, but don’t really think about practical solutions that would make the working environment more open, enjoyable and accessible to everyone.


True-man LJ

Fully expected this to be a piece about the dance troupe suing Ed Balls for ripping off their moves. Disappointed that it wasn’t.

More LC clickbait. 0/10.


Just Anonymous

Thank you for another interesting discussion.

Katie, I’d just respond to your reaction to the ‘diversity hates white males’ comments.

Your analogy is a good one in that it accurately describes what diversity ought to be: namely, ensuring equality of opportunity for all by removing structural barriers that people have no control over.

However, the point is that not all white males are socially advantaged. Some are. But there are many who face the same problems that I understand from your words that you did: namely, that they have no contacts or family connections who can assist them in obtaining their desired career.

So the complaint which the aforementioned commenters are articulating (which may or may not be justified) is that if you’re white and male – and socially disadvantaged – diversity initiatives generally don’t care about you.



Whether you went to a state school and whether you were on FSMs are both questions I’ve encountered on ‘diversity’-tracking questionnaires.



I am black but my parents went to University and I went to a private school. When I was applying for TCs, I (rightly) didn’t qualify for any diversity initiatives at the point of application. If you are white and come from a less well off background the initiatives will help you.


Ziggy the Zebra and friends

There still isn’t room for me in this big diverse world.




Keele Llb

I hope diversity means I can get that sweet TC with Clifford Chance. What do you guys think





Bumcheeks McGuffin

People laugh at the Lord Denning is my Homeboy t-shirts. Well, that f*cker was a nasty right-wing religious conservative bigot, far from being the wizened old man in the wig talking quaintly about village greens, he would use his position to, for example, impose his right wing agenda on the law. Sixth formers study RCN v DHSS which ultimately determined how difficult an abortion would be for the patient. Denning’s jugment reflected his anti-abortion views in interpreting the legislation and the HL had to overturn his judgment as it was such a skewed misinterpretation of the law. Think on that – maybe you like UKIP-type evangelical views, so go ahead and wear your right-wing religious conservative t-shirt clarion call then.



Relevant and insightful!



Funny how you “progressive” types think that a convicted murderer has more of a right to life than an unborn child…



You’re just seething with tolerance, aren’t you?



Bet they had a really long discussion once the cameras stopped rolling. REALLY long.


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