One third of legal professionals believe their firm could do more to help disadvantaged young people

But charity-backed research shows finance is far worse

New research has suggested that 34% of legal professionals feel that their firm could do more to help disadvantaged young people trying to break through into the profession.

When asked how well their business supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to access jobs, 59% answered “well”. Seven percent of respondents said they were unsure as to how well their firm is helping to support social mobility, leaving 34% to select “not well”.

By way of comparison, 44% in finance and accounting claim that their place of business is not supporting disadvantaged young people “well”. The top performers are construction and IT: in both sectors just 31% think their business isn’t pulling its weight when it comes to social mobility.

Interestingly, almost 22% of those working in law feel that it is the government’s responsibility to improve social mobility. While a further 19% suggest it is up to schools and colleges, just 7% said that the onus is on universities to tackle the problem. Twenty-six percent of respondents said that they didn’t think any one group has the most responsibility.

The survey — which questioned over 1,000 “senior decision makers” across a plethora of business sectors — was complied by YouGov and published by the education charity Sutton Trust and Deutsche Bank earlier today. Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, said that the “research shows that it is very difficult for young people from low and middle income backgrounds to access” rewarding careers.

Social mobility in the law, or rather the lack of, has been a problem that’s rumbled on for some years. Data published by the Social Mobility Commission (SMC) earlier this year suggested that solicitors from “affluent backgrounds” will earn on average £6,800 more than colleagues from “poorer” ones. The SMC — a government body which promotes and monitors progress in social mobility — suggested that the pay disparity could be because solicitors from disadvantaged backgrounds are “less likely to ask for pay rises, have less access to networks and work opportunities or, in some cases, exclude themselves from promotion for fear of not ‘fitting in’”.

Read the survey results in full below:

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8 Comments

Anonymous

So 66.6% of people think that their firm does enough should be the story. Otherwise if the smallest percentage was the most valid, there’d be no jibber jabber about Article 50 as the UK would be suggesting stronger, federal ties within the EU.

(7)(1)
Irwin Mitchell

“disadvantaged young people” – and that’s just the paralegals…

(5)(0)
Not Amused

Any pay disparity will be because of both regional pay being lower and down to quality of firm.

The problem is a systemic one. Poor born kids are disadvantaged from day one. They lack good nurseries. Their primary schools are less good. The comprehensive school experiment failed and anyone with any money took their kids out. So they go to less good unis and get less good jobs. Or worse, are fobbed off with nonsense like ILEX.

But we refuse to acknowledge the problem because no one involved has any interest in solving it. The wealthy parents prefer a world in which their child gets an easier ride (who wouldn’t). The lefties who run the unions prefer to maintain a grudge and to farm the poor (don’t let them succeed, they’ll only start voting Tory).

There we are. That’s the truth. Now go watch Theresa May get crucified for trying to do something about it.

Any vacuous moron who thinks the problem is because poor born kids don’t ask for a pay rise often enough deserved nothing but contempt.

(12)(3)
Anonymous

22% is closer to one fifth than one third. Stop making this sound important.

(2)(0)
Anonymous

Only 34%?! I’m surprised its not alot less, the selfish shops!

It’s usually those outside the firms who do the most to support disadvantage students, i.e. AS, BLD, SEO etc. Without these schemes law firms wouldn’t care at all in breaking the mould.

(0)(0)

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