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Warwick University law careers adviser cleared of intentional racism after student allegations

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But she was found to have ‘exercised poor judgement’

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A Warwick University law careers adviser has been cleared of intentional racism over comments she is alleged to have made about black people.

The investigation was prompted by a formal complaint made by a law student at the Russell Group university, who Legal Cheek exclusively revealed had vented her fury about the careers officer on social media.

The final year LLBer claimed in a series of tweets that the staff member had made a number of questionable comments in a careers seminar. After reporting that the adviser had name checked research on unconscious bias, which included controversial findings suggesting that on average black candidates handed in applications closer to deadlines than white candidates, the student tweeted:

Other claims made by the student on Twitter included that the adviser, a former solicitor, said that while there is prejudice out there, “it is clear that some groups actively disadvantage themselves and as a result it is a double whammy”. The student has not responded to Legal Cheek‘s request for comment about these allegations.

The Twitter thread sparked a whole range of angry comments, including: “This is flipping ridiculous!” and “I am so sorry that you had to go through this”. There was also a good deal of sympathy expressed online for the careers adviser, who is well-regarded and many felt had simply been clumsy in her choice of words.

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Amid the Twitter storm, an official complaint was made against the staff member. A university spokesperson informed Legal Cheek in mid-October that “an investigation of that complaint has now commenced”. The student said she hopes her speaking out “sparks a conversation about the institutional racism POC [people of colour] are up against”.

With the investigation now concluded, a spokesperson said:

“The investigation has now finished and it concluded that the member of staff in question did not intentionally, or purposefully, behave in a racist manner, but had exercised poor judgement when handling sensitive information.”

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9 Comments

Trumpenkrieg

“cleared of intentional racism”

Give me strength…

(15)(7)

Anonymous

you’re just plain evil. hope you choke on a large object the next time you open your mouth to say more racist stuff like this.

(2)(5)

Anonymous

IZ REEEEEEEEEEACISIMMMMMM!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*shouts so loud shits pants*

(11)(7)

ALawyer

How do you have unintentional racism? Surely racism is defined by intentionality.

(2)(6)

Anonymous

Errm no! See – Geller v Yeshurun Hebrew Congregation and the various cases referred to therein.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

The careers advisor presented some data that suggested black candidates were being disadvantaged because they appeared to be making applications late/later than other candidates. The data therefore suggests that an Equality and Diversity issue exists/may exist, and its standard educational practice to address E&D issues identified during session development and delivery. In this instance, the careers advisor elected to use a standard teaching practice, Mantle of Expert, MoE, to try to establish if there were any inherent reasons why black candidates were apparently making late applications. Since the E&D issue related to black applicants, the person selected to act in the Mantle of Expert role, had to be black. The careers advisor was quite simply trying to do her job using standard teaching techniques, that’s not racism hence the conclusion that the careers advisor was not being intentionally racist.

(10)(1)

Anon

I’m not sure anyone would describe her as “well regarded”…

(1)(7)

Anonymous

Well clearly people did.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Is there an unfortunate undercurrent ?

The one makes a comment or combines a series of comments to make a point, the other puts her employment at risk.

The one wears or Photoshops a Santa hat onto an Instagram portrait Of himself, the other positions for him to be stripped of his mbe honour.

The one retweets some videos, the other positions for him to be denied a state visit which is traditional for his democratic status.

Where is the other’s virtue in the three examples if the punishment does not fit the crime ?

(0)(2)

Comments are closed.

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