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Over a third of new law students are from ethnic minority backgrounds

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Law far more ethnically diverse than other humanities-based subjects

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA) show 35% of new law students are non-white.

The data looks at those studying at UK universities who began their law degrees in 2015-16, the most up-to-date information available. It shows a grand total of 23,795 started law degrees in this time, but ethnicity data was only collected for the 18,260 students who were UK domiciled.

Of these, 11,815 (65%) are white, 1,910 (10%) are black, 3,045 (17%) are Asian and 1,270 (7%) are ‘Other’. The ethnic identity of 220 (1%) UK domiciled students is unknown.

Table via HESA

To put this into context, 12% of the UK population is black, Asian, minority ethnic (BAME), making law degrees extremely ethnically diverse. By comparison, the legal profession is often lambasted for its lack of diversity; just a handful of City firms boast partnerships comparable to the population.

And how does law stack up against other degree subjects?

Using the same HESA data, and again discounting non-UK domiciled students, we can see law is pretty comparable to its intellectual rival medicine. The stats show 62% of first year medicine and dentistry students are white.

That said, the percentage of BAME students for other humanities-based subjects is far lower than for law. Eighty-seven percent of history and philosophy students are white, as are 84% of language students and 80% of education students. In veterinary science, 93% of students are white.

HESA also holds data on students’ gender. Of the 23,795 aspiring lawyers who started their degrees in 2015, 8,615 (36%) are male and 15,175 (64%) are female. Five identify as ‘Other’.

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31 Comments

Anonymous

inb4 Trumpenkreig and Not Amused burden the world with their opinions.

(8)(0)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

I think they’re licking their not insubstantial wounds

(3)(0)

The Parliament is Well Hung Like Me

order 66 betacuck jason blaha

(6)(0)

Anonymous

And? Why is this relevant to anything? LC should stop obsessing about the whole diversity thing. From what I see, the whole idenitiarian us-vs-them mentality only causes further divisions driving people apart.

(6)(6)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

I’m sorry you are unhappy that you occasionally have to think about minorities and women

(13)(0)

Anonymous

The fact that you just assume I am not a woman is disgusting frankly.

(3)(3)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

I never assumed your gender, which you can infer from my post which makesno reference to it. You may notice that I am still not referring to you in gendered pronouns.

Your protests do not make your initial comment less bovine.

(8)(4)

Ciaran Goggins

What type of black though innit? Asians (Indian, Chinese) always forged ahead whilst Latisha pushes a pram and Tyrone scores drugs. Keep an eye on an upcoming Channel 4 documentary and see how a half Jamaican boy (bway) became The Met’s biggest paid perjurer. Jah.

(3)(17)

Wasteman

Phwoar u sho dem da spirit ma boi

(1)(2)

Ms. Ciaran Goggins

I’ll make sure I record it for you, babe. Wouldn’t want you to miss your BNP fundraising event.

(3)(4)

Ciaran Goggins

Didn’t ex Det Con Derek Haslam attempt to join the EDL? Until they discovered his Jamaican roots.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Why is there no option to report this racist comment??

(3)(2)

Anonymous

“To put this into context, 12% of the UK population is black, Asian, minority ethnic (BAME), making law degrees extremely ethnically diverse.”

So…white people make up 88% of the population but only 65% of law students?

Katie, why do you stop caring about under-representation as soon as the under-represented group happens to be white?

(18)(2)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

If you don’t mind my saying, I think this is a fairly buffoonish comment. A bit like “Brexit means Brexit”.

(2)(11)

Anonymous

This comment literally says nothing. Why write it?

(2)(3)

Lavish Bathtime

Somebody once told me – “You’ve got a friend in me. You’ve got a friend in me. When the road looks rough ahead and you’re miles and miles from your nice warm bed you just remember what your old pal said – boy, you’ve got a friend in me. Yeah, you’ve got a friend in me”

It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

(0)(1)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

This is the song from Toy Story. A good song from a good film.

(0)(2)

Deirerirh

It is a classic. It is more than a story. I love it so much. When I was a young nipper my mother bought me a Buzz Lightyear duvet cover. Life is great.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Off-topic but I just wanted to announce that I’ve been offered a TC at Orrick, I’m over the moon, particularly given the fact I only managed a pass on the GDL with the following grades: Tort (63), Contract (58), Public (57), Eu (56), Criminal (55), Land (53), Equity and Trusts (53).

(2)(2)

Lawyer

Law sucks. Turn down the offer.

(4)(0)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

You have my sincere congratulations – great work! Now, go make the world a better place!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

This isn’t particularly significant.

Getting into university to study law isn’t very hard – nor is signing up the GDL and LPC – all you need is CCC at A-level.

The hard bit of making a career in law i.e. getting a training or pupillage. These remain firmly the territory of the middle classes.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

More than 12% of those getting pupillage are BME. Accordingly BME students are over-represented. Why will nobody acknowledge this?

(2)(2)

Darren

Because it is simply not true. These statistics are derived from what people have themselves registered as on the form or computer system. There is a trend that white, middle-class rich kids put themselves as BME “for a laugh”. I know this as a matter of fact from experience – I have met at least 20 BME pupils and all of them were white. The statistics are a myth.

(4)(4)

Anonymous

I really hope this is not true 🙁

(1)(0)

Anonymous

TC at Orrick person… why would you write that on here?

I suggest immediate psycho-analysis.

(2)(0)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

I think you are joyless.

(0)(1)

Fatty Thumb Thumb

I have really fat thumbs which makes ten bin bowling a complete nightmare.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

This is good news indeed.

Nevertheless, it remains a problem that posh white males act like bouncers or gatekeepers at the doors of law firms, keeping BAME, disabled, female etc candidates out under the pretence of “merit.”

Until we have strong independently-operated quotas or a similar workable solution, the justice system will be treated with contempt – as a sort of posh white male masonic-style elite kangaroo court system for the rich and powerful.

Change is required now to salvage its reputation.

(4)(10)

Anonymous

A Labour government will be good for diversity

(2)(2)

Bingo

You’ve hit the nail on the head there. Also – more lawyers are losers. They need to get a life.

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.