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New City law firm recruitment portal targets grads with good grades against the odds

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Diversity hiring specialist Rare wants to help outfits unearth ‘historically hidden talent’ and boost social mobility

A graduate recruitment company has launched a new online portal which it says will help law firms recruit students who did well at uni against the odds.

Rare Recruitment says that the database will help talented grads from less well-off backgrounds get a foot in the door at top firms by highlighting how well they performed considering where they came from. The company, which has signed up some of the City’s top brass, wants to “break the artificial barriers putting legal careers beyond the reach of many talented candidates”.

The platform, known as Vantage, uses “advanced analytical techniques to match firms with historically hidden talent”. Students and graduates put their details into the database, and recruiters can use it to search for students from less well-off backgrounds who still did well in their studies.

The portal builds on Rare Recruitment’s existing contextual recruitment software, which helps firms look at how well students have done at school and uni considering where they came from in life. For example, someone who went to a school where exam results are well below average and still came out with AAB has done, in context, outstandingly well — arguably better than someone from a private school with AAA grades. Many of the biggest City players announced that they had begun using contextual recruitment systems several years ago.

Vantage allows firms looking to expand their horizons to filter those registered on the platform by 23 different characteristics, such as postcode, school quality, eligibility for free school meals, refugee status and time spent in care.

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There are, according to Rare Recruitment, 100 schools in the UK where only one in forty students with an A in English applies for a training contract with a law firm. The equivalent figure for “elite schools” is one in three, the firm says.

It has teamed up with ten top City firms to double the number of applicants from these 100 “high-low schools” in the next three years. The firms are Baker McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Eversheds Sutherland, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters, Macfarlanes, Pinsent Masons, Slaughter and May, and Travers Smith.

Deborah McCormack, head of early talent at Pinsent Masons, said that “via Vantage we can cast our recruitment nets to an even wider candidate pool, making opportunities more accessible to those outside of the major cities. Vantage also enables students to put themselves in front of firms, which previously, they may not have applied to”.

The City is under increasing pressure to do more on diversity and social mobility. Twenty-nine per cent of solicitors at very large firms (50+ partners) attended fee paying schools, compared to only 7% of the UK population, according to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Only 1% of lawyers at these mega-firms are black.

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110 Comments

Anonymous

Interesting. HSF do need this. For all their talk of diversity and inclusion, they’re a nest of Hugos and Fionas from Oxbridge.

Anonymous

And this is a bad thing how? They’re a profitable firm and fairly happy workplace – clearly a socially cohesive workforce is a positive thing.

Anonymous

There’s clearly bias if 90% of solicitors are from the same alma mater, unless you mean to imply the only ‘profitable’ and ‘socially cohesive’ grads are those from Oxford.

Anonymous

Statistically, Oxbridge has the highest concentration of the best. Recruiting from Oxbridge where possible is efficient use of resources.

Anonymous

How do you define people as ‘the best’? Do you judge then on A-level results? Hardly a criteria for being a good lawyer.

Anonymous

Intelligence. It’s largely genetically inherited. The social mobility warriors hate the science.

Anonymous

And Christ, everyone gets 3As at A level and a first nowadays.

Anonymous

The best and whitest

Anonymous

Criterion

Anonymous

Most of these mobility moaners never studied Latin, let alone Greek. Many of them do not even understand classical references. Apparently we are meant to dumb down to their level. A sad sign of the times, tempora mutantur and all that.

Anonymous

Actually statistically this is not accurate. Oxbridge take disproportionate number of privately educated. 10% of population went to private school and 40% of those at Oxbridge went to a private school. Statistically that means around 30% of those at Oxbridge did not get in on merit and are therefore not the “best”

Anonymous

With logic that dim I hope you are never my lawyer. First, scholarship kids, there are a lot of them. They get to Oxbridge from private schools. Second, Oxbridge wants the top 1%, which roughly equates to an IQ of 136-138 by normal distribution, though I reckon working on an IQ level of 130 might be more realistic. Here are some facts. You won’t like them. Fact one, there is a massive correlation between IQ and income. So clever people tend to earn more, and very clever people tend to earn a lot more. People with money can send their kids to fee paying schools. Second, IQ has massive hereditary element and you ignore the effect of that. That link is becoming more and more evident in recent years as the knowledge of genes and the workings of the brain increase. Conservatively the band of hereditary links to IQ are put at 57-73% but the range is increasing all the time, with recent studies positing a 80% and even an 86% link (the social mobility brigade are turning into science deniers in the face of this wave of data). The chances of a kid with clever parents getting into the top 1% is far far higher therefore than 1%. So, it would be natural for there to be much higher private school representation at Oxbridge.

Anonymous

You seem the type who would voluntarily take an IQ test and then tell everyone the results.

Your genius babies will obviously go on to be billionaires, well done!

Anonymous

Good dodging of the facts. Leftists are science deniers too.

Big Dolla

This is retarded statistics.

Anonymous

A bit harsh on the retarded. But that tosh of “analysis” shows the closed mindset of the people pushing for percentages over ability in recruitment and promotion.

Reality

Oxbridge recruits the best people at sixth form, and delivers the best education at degree level. I expect all the best firms to be predominantly staffed with Oxbridge graduates.

I went to a far less prestigious university, because I was lazy at school. Good luck to my colleagues who went to Oxbridge and then to superb law firms. Life is not equal. I was not equal to them. I am not bitter about it and seeking to drag own those who actually managed to get to Oxbridge (or Russell Group universities).

Clients want the best lawyers: they pay law firms to either play Diversity Top Trumps, the Race Card, or the Victimhood Olympics. I realise that might upset people, but tough.

Reality

Typo: Clients… do not …pay law firms to

Anonymous

Actually, I find rather a lot of clients are interested in our diversity initiatives. I have had clients comment on us turning up to meetings as a group entirely made out of upper middle class white men. Clients know that being upper middle class, white, and male does not make you more likely to be clever so question why your firm is obviously hiring people based at least partially on background, skin colour and/or gender.

I think it’s quite obvious that someone with 3As at shitchester 6th form college is significantly more intelligent than someone with A*AA from Eton. Anyone who has been to a good-but-not-Oxbridge uni knows they are stuffed full of dim witted poshos who got spoon fed through A levels. Tools to identify people with potential are obviously sensible. No one is forcing you to hire gang members with an ABSO and EEE.

Anonymous

Your clients as so sexist – I’d refuse to work for anyone that said they wanted women lawyers just for some eye candy.

Anonymous

This doesn’t warrant a response, but if you think diversity = eye candy then that says rather a lot about you and nothing about anyone else.

Anonymous

Wow, and now you’re defending what they said! Unbelieveable! What firm do you work for? You should be ashamed!!

Anonymous

Actually given the inherited aspects of IQ middle class kids ARE more likely to be very intelligent than working class kids. Facts, leftists hate them.

Anonymous

Intelligence isn’t really inherited. Not only does the science prove it, but if you had gone to a good university you would know from interacting with the endless flow of posh mentally challenged people.

Anonymous

Leftist fact denier. The science keeps uprating the heritability of IQ. The range is accepted, at least, to be between 57% and 73% and more recent evidence puts it much higher, as high as 80% to 86%. But facts, science etc, don’t let them stand in the way of your prejudices.

Anonymous

Ok, cite those studies then.

Anonymous

Ok, a starter for three (1) Bouchard, Thomas J., and Matt McGue. “Genetic and environmental influences on human psychological differences.” Developmental Neurobiology 54.1 (2003); (2) Plomin, Robert, and Ian J. Deary. “Genetics and intelligence differences: five special findings.” Molecular psychiatry 20.1 (2015); (3) Panizzon, Matthew S., et al. “Genetic and environmental influences on general cognitive ability: Is g a valid latent construct?.” Intelligence 43 (2014). Enjoy reading.

Anonymous

Can’t be arsed to read them. I’ll assume they don’t back you up. I win. Apologies please.

Anonymous

I am sorry that you were wrong. I am more sorry that policy is being driven by ignorance of leftist science deniers.

Anonymous

Here’s several extremely more qualified scientists who disagree with you. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28530673
Intelligence is inherited. Intelligent people tend to make more money than unintelligent people. Money is therefore correlated to intelligence.

Big Dolla

I think you mean:

Intelligence is inherited. Intelligent people tend to make more money than unintelligent people. THEREFORE, wealthy parents will tend to have smart children.

Big Dolla

You fucking moron. Intelligence absolutely is “really inherited”.

Anonymous

Prove it you cunt.

Anonymous

10.56, depends on your clients. I’d rather go into a pitch with three privately educated Oxbridge grads on the team than a rag tag bunch from a CBBC drama.

Anonymous

I’m a black guy who got 3 A*s and an A at A Level yet was rejected by Oxford. Oxford has major cultural and elitist bias against people from non-traditional non-white backgrounds regardless if they have top grades. Thankfully I went to a top Russell Group uni and have TC at US firm. And then I hear stories of the likes of Toby Young who got Cs and Bs, having his Father call up the college headmaster to get him a place at Oxford. U.K. system is far more elitist compared to US.

Anonymous

I’m pretty sure that US has recently gone through an Ivy league entrance bribery scandal which involved the elite paying for their kids to get in.

F Huffman

No, that’s fake news.

Anonymous

The US scandal is more to do with illegal acts not actual policy or wilful ignorance or bias by the college like we see with Oxbridge. Apart from the few legacy admissions reserved for big donor’s kids, US system is far more meritocratic at its core. Those white millionaire families indicted in the recent scandal did their acts precisely because it was far too competitive for their kids to get in on own merit. Those families were not rich enough to take the billionaire donor legacy route and not poor or middle class enough for their kids to compete with hungry Asian and black kids from disadvantaged immigrant backgrounds. So they fell in an awkward gap making them resort to illegality for their kids to get into the US elite society’s clubs.

Big Dolla

Meritocratic?

1. The US systems, particularly Ivy league admissions systems, deliberately undervalue Asian and (to a lesser degree) white applications in the name of affirmative action. Look at average SAT scores of Asian students and black students at Ivy leagues. You may agree with the policy, but it’s hardly meritocratic.

2. Legacy systems are not reserved for the select few billionaires. If your parents went to that school, the school will deliberately favour your application. Hardly meritocratic.

3. Sports scholarships. This depends on your definition of meritocratic, but it certainly isn’t academically meritocratic.

Anonymous

The Ivy League does not have sports scholarships.

Anonymous

How many training spots will go to candidates on this portal? I’ve a feeling it won’t be many.

Anonymous

And thank God it won’t – most of these kids simply don’t have it in them. Getting an ABB is still shit, regardless of which ghetto school you went to.

Anonymous

Written with true privilege.

Reality

You’re a parody. No one except Guardian readers and minorities cares about Diversity and Inclusion.

Select people on objectively-assessed merit, and allow the best to succeed.* Don’t engage in positive discrimination, as Rare does.

* That wouldn’t include me. I’m comfortable with that.

Anonymous

I’m from a low socio-economic background, so yeah I do care about diversity.

Anonymous

He might be a parody – but you are clearly a massive throbbing phallus.

Anonymous

Written with true ignorance.

Anonymous

I mean that’s utter nonsense. Someone with BBB from the worst school in the UK is probably brighter than someone with AAA from the best school in the UK.

Anonymous

I don’t care where you come from, if you get a B at A level forget it.

Anonny Non

@Anonymous: Jun 13 2019 12:15pm

I got BEE.

I am a senior junior barrister with a civil/commercial practice. I earn close to £200k PA, working on average 4 days per week, and that includes the afternoon or 3 that I waste bantering with colleagues in chambers.

Not bad going for a thicko pleb, eh?

Anonymous

BS meter goes off the scale. You work that long and just earn £200k? So you have an hourly rate less than the baby juniors in a commercial set, babies who are taking home more in the first year than you claim you do. Probably because they are not thick like you.

Anonny Non

You seem angry, lol. Not to mention, envious and bitter. What’s more, you appear to have no idea about how a barrister operates because we don’t bill every hour we “work”. For example, while today I need to draft an Advice which will take 2 or 3 hours and which I will bill for, I also need to write up a couple of attendance notes, no doubt answer and send a couple of dozen emails, bill a few cases, do some printing, liaise with my clerks about various things, speak to sols on the phone etc etc, none of which I will bill for.

Anonymous

Can’t wait to see the Bar filled with people from Barnsley College.

Anonymous

To be fair, I know someone who went to Barnsley College who trained at Freshies (though she’d probably flunk this as she went to Oxford).

JB

“advanced analytical techniques to match firms with historically hidden talent” = we have made up a scoring system that in no way is reputable so we wont be able to tell you how that works.

Anonymous

No need to pay to look for hidden talent when there is obvious talent with the words “Cantab” and “Oxon” on their CVs.

RARE POKEMON

This is the worrying part of this whole charade “For example, someone who went to a school where exam results are well below average and still came out with AAB has done, in context, outstandingly well — arguably better than someone from a private school with AAA grades”

So is it better or is it not, if someone who got AAA is missing out to someone who has AAB you better be sure they have done better and not just “arguably better” Dig a little deeper and you find the AAB student although they went to an average school their parents are paying for a private tutor every night.

Arguably better doesn’t cut it I’m afraid.

Anonymous

This is it exactly, Rare don’t even know how to use the information they are asking for in a credible way.

When you think about it, it’s actually really dangerous to be basing recruitment decisions on a system that lacks in transparency, isn’t independently verified and ultimately is a profit making organisation

Anonymous

The data on candidates that the Rare tool presents to clients is not top secret but i would imagine they’re not keen for other companies to copy the business model and instead just share it with paying clients.

They’re the same measures universities use to contextualise offers and it’s a number of markers of disadvantage, not just grades. And the tools just show employers what that disadvantages are – Theres no algorithm or system that makes decisions. The firms look at the data and decide so there’s no decision making tool to scrutinise.

Anonymous

We already do a huge amount for those who come from traditionally less academic backgrounds. My current trainee went to Repton ffs.

Anonymous

Here is the best way to spot unearthed talent – let someone lower down the food chain do it. For every gem there are a mountain of not gems. Recruit the classically best and if someone else finds a someone who is an outlier they can move once they have proved themselves. This sort of virtue signalling crap is a waste of time and money.

Andon

I would wager that the people who are deriding this methodology are from fairly well cushioned backgrounds and actually have no idea what it is like and how hard it is to break out if you are an intelligent and talented kid who by accident of birth happens to have been born on a sink estate and then schooled only to the minimum box ticking standards set by the govt.*

It may be some sort of feel good carey sharey liberal stunt but equally it may be a way to unearth those diamonds in the rough. Whilst it is true that an Oxbridge degree is kind of a gold standard and so firms and chambers naturally try to recruit such people, there are also many other bright candidates from other backgrounds who also bring something (often a lot) to the party.

Aside from academics, people from other “diverse” backgrounds also have life experiences and resourcefulness which well off kids can only dream of. So, while Hugo had a private tutor and was learning to ski at age 15, Jayden was learning to manage a household budget as social services prepared him for independent living, or how to defuse violent situations, or was cramming for his GCSE’s while sharing a room with two noisy siblings.

I am head of recruitment and I can tell you for nothing, without the need for a complex algorithm, that I would rather have a Jayden in my chambers than a Hugo. That is not because I am some sort of bleeding heart SJW. It is because I have met and recruited both types – the Jaydens of this world tend to grab their opportunities with both hands and make the most of them, whilst the Hugos often kind of entitled (having been, in a way, “to the manner born”) and, what’s more, unsuited to the sudden need to work independently without a parent or tutor to push them. I also know which one of them I would trust to think or talk their way out of a difficult situation during that other tricky period between the end of pupillage and gaining enough life and legal experience to call upon in extremis. Frankly, Hugos are frequently utterly useless during that phase of their careers as they simply have never had to do much thinking for themselves before then.

*I have a not dissimilar background myself.

Anonymous

Andon from the Block

Anonymous

Hi Rare, hope you are having a nice morning

Andon

@Anonymous: Jun 12 2019 10:37am

Whilst I am probably rare, I am not Rare. If you have a look at the comments section underneath other articles on LC you will see that I post quite regularly under this username (and perhaps others, but that would be telling ;-))

Anonymous

The Rare system doesn’t give any extra points for sharing a bedroom with siblings or arguing with parents so neither of these is relevant.

You need to go on some unconscious bias training as you clearly favour people for the role because they are similar to yourself.

Worrying times if you really are head of recruitment, but then again perfect people for Rare to sell their awful product to

Andon

@Anonymous: Jun 12 2019 10:42am

Would that be the same “unconscious bias” that the Bar has been operating with for the last 900 years?

loLz (as we say in the hood).

We actually have a rigorous and very good set of procedures in place for levelling the playing field, but thanks for your concern. As a result we have tenants and pupils from all educations backgrounds from the very “best” public schools right through to bog standard comprehensives.

Btw – nice hair-splitting/straw man “no extra points for sharing a bedroom with siblings” argument, but if you re-read the article Hugonymous, you will find that there are extra points of whatever for time spent in care (and other adverse experiences).

Anonymous

*educational

Anonymous

I never mentioned anything about time in care, but since you did I’ll bite.

What is the value of 1 flag. Are all flags equal, time spent in care automatically = 1 flag. But working part time and 1st in family at uni is also one flag. The system is nonsense.

Anonymous

It’s all virtue signalling bollocks. So whether it is total bollocks or worse does not really matter.

Maybe One Day

Thx 😊

Anonymous

I got a CEE at A level, went to my local university, and will be graduating with one of (if not the) highest grades of my cohort. I plan on publishing a few articles over the next year. Should I just go into academia because I’ll never get a job in a law firm?

Anonymous

Honestly yes. Don’t waste your time

Reality

Yes, sorry. You’re outclassed by everyone with better grades. It doesn’t matter whether you’re good *enough*, it matters whether you’re in the top c5% who will actually get training contracts. No firm would consider you: it’s too easy to filter based on A-Levels.

Anonymous

But…. but….
BURD

Anonymous

Bird n Burd dont care about a levels brah

Anonymous

True that most firms will filter on A-Levels, so you won’t get a look in. Not all do, but even at those that don’t filter they do award points for them. There will almost certainly be someone else who has a similar degree and CV to yours but better A-Levels and so you won’t be able to row back from awful A-Level grades.

Anonymous

1. Loads and loads of people at private schools are on scholarships and bursaries. I went to one on a scholarship. My parents couldn’t afford to pay after a couple of years; accordingly the school kept me on for 4 more years until I was 18 on a full bursary. At least 50% of my year had some kind of financial help. Scholarships went to over 30%.
2. Lots of people’s parents in private school are not wealthy. They are people who made a series of financial compromises.
3. Doing well at a grammar school or a private school or a good comp has all to do with work ethic and drive. Being penalised for trying to do well and trying to go to a good school with less disruptive children shouldn’t be a thing.

I just hate everything RARE stands for. Which is a sharp nosed recruitment company trying to take advantage of WOKEness and diversity initiatives to make a few bucks. But pretending they are a huge social good.

Diversity matters in law because to matters to clients. That’s all law firms really care about.

Anonymous

Is there a danger that someone like you will become disloyal opposition , a challenge, a concern to the status quo, though ? The poorest person in a privileged environment today, becomes the agent of social change tomorrow.

This is probably not true of the people rare are recruiting, and that may be the reason they have found a niche of demand.

Barack Obama was never persona non grata, as he escaped from poverty.
Even though he could play guitar and sing, he was nothing like Bob Marley.

Gore Vidal , on the other hand, author of the book clutched by Julian Assange on his arrest recently was untouchable for TV work. There was always the risk that he would mention that fake news has come about because the news networks need not make any money for their parent companies any longer, the money is made elsewhere in the consortium. Interesting truth made money, but it is not needed anymore and it will harm other companies in the consortium.

Barack and Bob would not have a clue, but you might. George Orwell was one of the poorest at Eton and he gave us 1984 and Animal Farm.

Superimpose that onto a us firm preparing patents and machinery contracts for ww3. Barack and Bob may not whistleblow because they are new to this and easily way laid by seniors, someone like you might react like Gore , Orwell or Julian Assange.

What do you think of that ?

Anonymous

It’s actually pretty rare to find such incomprehensible nonsense

Anonymous

Gore Vidal was the grand son of a senator, a neighbour of the Roosevelts on the Hudson river, close to the kennedys and a wealthy playwright and author. But he did not share the morals of the think tank class. That is the key to it. You could coach an orphan to have think tank morals and run an industrial combine – Bernard Shaw wrote a play about precisely that.

Vidal could have his moral high ground and weather the storm easily, which is the worst of both worlds.

That is what I was trying to convey.

Big Dolla

Is this you De Montford?

I’d recognise your incoherent ramblings anywhere…

I’ve missed you.

Anonymous

Whoops, my reply to you went to the bottom of the chain.

Anonymous

“What do you think of that ?”

I think someone has slipped magic mushrooms into my lunch. What did I just read?

Andon

@Anonymous: Jun 12 2019 3:42pm

All good points BUT* those leg ups only work for the children of parents who are engaged, possibly quite pushy and already quite probably breaking into the middle classes.

What about kids whose parents spend all day smoking weed and can’t be arsed to fill in a scholarship application form? Or, for that matter, help their kid prepare for the entrance exam or interview? What about the kids in care for whom the State is their parent?

The fact that you were a paying pupil whose parents unfortunately fell on hard times puts you into a very different category than those kids.

Not sure what you meant by “Being penalised for trying to do well and trying to go to a good school with less disruptive children shouldn’t be a thing”. Nobody is penalising anyone, unless you mean this is a zero sum game where one person’s success is always at the expense of another, which, tbh, with a limited number of TCs and pupillage is kind of how it works and there’s not a lot that can be done about that.

* I like big buts and I cannot lie

Anonymous

My parents never fell on hard times. They were never on good times. They never went to university. They owned a small shop. It did OK and with the scholarship it was just about enough.

I didn’t get any help with interviews or exams. There was no scholarship application form. There were a couple of good private schools in the area and when you applied you auto went for the scholarship.

I also nearly went to a grammar school which does even better results wise despite no fees.

Anonymous

could be worse. Could be an associate at Prickscour Roast

Anonymous

As a middle class white male, I think this is awful. Not on principle, but why would I want something that is putting me at a disadvantage through no fault of my own? Its hard enough getting the job as it is.

If I work harder than someone else, I expect to be rewarded for it, not context giving them a leg up instead.

Anonymous

“I expect to be rewarded for it” is precisely the type of attitude that’s pervasive among the privileged. Such a sense of entitlement is rare among those less privileged, who have no choice but to persevere in circumstances where despite their efforts they are still denied opportunities. Frankly I think disadvantaged candidates are better off building their own empires rather than joining these ‘top’ law firms, which are really just posh clubs that perpetuate their own.

Andon

@Anonymous: Jun 13 2019 1:07am

Nail hit squarely on the head…..

If someone from a comprehensive with a knife hoop and security guards wearing stab vests gets ABB then they have very likely worked twice as hard for those results as someone from Eton who gets AAA, so based on the logic of “if I work harder that someone else I expect to be rewarded for it”, such people should get all the TCs and pupillages.

Which, rather neatly, demonstrates what Rare and other attempts to level the playing field are trying to do. They are trying to ensure that hard work, intelligence and talent which has perhaps masked by less than stellar academic grades does not go unrewarded. or, rather, given that this after all is a system targeted multi-million businesses, “unexploited”.

The methodology is not the same, but what they are doing is not that much different than football teams who build scouting/development networks around the developing world to try and find talented players who would otherwise slip through the net. I know for a fact that at least two premiership teams and one Italian Serie A team have such programs. The cynics will doubtless say that such programs are simply done for PR purposes, and there may be an element of that, but it can’t be the sole or even the main reason, because they actually try to keep quite a lot their activities not exactly secret but certainly fairly low key in case bigger rival clubs get them to do all the ground work before swooping in and waving a chequebook around.

I strongly suspect that what lies behind all the sneering and indignation at the temerity of these oiks trying to break into “our” world, is not just really unattractive snobbishness but is actually insecurity. If the playing field was made a bit more level and these sort of programs and algorithms become commonplace (which is likely) then paying for schooling, renting a flat near the best school in the area to game the admission rules, hiring a private tutor etc will no longer work as well as it used to, the middle classes will no longer be able to buy their way to success for their children and they will actually need to compete with the lower orders on merit alone. It must be a very worrying prospect and so we should be understanding and patient with them during this difficult transition period. We will need to be or else they’ll be out on the streets of Hampstead, setting fire to their John Lewis sofas and chucking petrol bombs made from the empty bottles they have left over from when they visited that delightful little winery in Tuscany last year through the window of the local boulangerie.

Anonymous

Discussions on diversity often exclude the fact that white, male candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds are also beneficiaries of these programs. They go on to do very well once given the chance to prove themselves and prove to be an excellent investment from the business point of view.

Increasingly, law’s struggling to attract the ‘best and brightest’ because most sophisticated students see that behind the facade, there is a culture of snobbery, complacency and favouritism for those who attended the right schools. Why else would elite law firms consistently promote partners with the same demographics? Law firms are entitled to do whatever they want with their business but they should stop the charade of ‘diversity’ and ‘meritocracy’.

Anonymous

Sorry, you seemed to home in on reward, and missed out the work element of the statement.

I don’t know what you gauge as middle class, but I see it as those from a household with on or around about £40,000.

To not be selfish for one’s own desires is in my view incorrect. But going back to the work element. If I put in more time and effort to get where I want to be, and someone else doesn’t, it is a logical thought to expect that I would sit further towards the goal post. To say otherwise is slightly insulting.

I think what you are merging in your mind is those who because of their status expect to be given the opportunity. That is frightfully different to someone having a status, including those from less well-off households, and then endeavouring with all their might to grasp something. it’s not the 1%, its the 99% effort on top. I don’t care what the current status quo is; that, is the most important.

Anonymous

I’m not sure you understand the program, which identifies outliers of academic performance in traditionally underperforming schools. This means that the student has worked disproportionately harder than their peers at the school, so they deserve at least some consideration from City firms, who would otherwise simply exclude candidates with certain cut-offs. Ultimately City firms are not welcoming environments for those without a privileged upbringing. Promotion is based on ‘fit’ as much as performance.

Anonymous

The name of the recruitment game is to find workers who will be loyal and unquestioning.

Where workers have their knowledge expanded by the breadth of their work, its cutting edge nature and its secrecy, for example, their loyalty and unquestioning nature may be stress tested.

This might be exacerbated in law if someone is paid sufficuently well to be financially independent.

You keep the reigns on with confidentiality agreements and partnership agreements.

Still there is a risk.

Traditionally you add a further layer of mitigation with personality types or class. It used to be thought that men were a safer bet than women, but no longer.

An Etonian or Cheltenham Ladies College alumni. Grammar school, if you are careful. Lesser public school if you are careful.

More recently comprehensive school try hards have been risked, and now stugglers over adversity are being considered.

The acid test for an employer is

We dont want someone at the Bbc turning out like George Orwell, when they get exposed to how the viewing public is treated.

We dont want a David Shayler or Annie Mahon reaction to foreign office secrets, Gore Vidal to political manoeuvring or David Icke to disciplinary processes. (He was sacked for refusing to pay poll tax, i think)

So, those things get factored in by the recruitment service industry. The diversity is not necessarily for the benefit of the diverse.

A key question used to be….we act for the tobacco companies defending litigation from lung cancer victims…what do you think of that ?

You need to generate people who will reply that you believe in fair trials, shareholder stability and so on, and, if you are brave, background doesnt actually matter. An Etonian will know what to say, a struggler over adversity can be taught.

Alas, there is not much to it, when you know what is what.

Jennifer, Paralegal, 23

I am slowly opening my mouth

Anonymous

You mean, Barrister ,32 , yawning with boredom, because you don’t care.

Anonymous

It is indeed. Hello Big Dolla.

Ive tidied it up at the bottom of the chain.

The incomparable nonsense chap spotted it again – you will see down there – and Ive tagged him back.

Ive made it more difficult to pretend that you find it incomprehensible now 😉

Big Dolla

I knew it was you.

I’ve missed you.

Anonymous

Except that, in reality, there are more than enough A*A*A* candidates out there, and these disproportionately come from privileged backgrounds. And it’s this sort of candidate that gets the top jobs.

The ‘AAA vs AAB’ comparison is only used because it’s the most convenient for mediocre recruiters at mediocre firms.

Anonymous

The highest scoring person EVER on the training contract assessment centre at my City firm went to an average comprehensive school and graduated from a middling University.

So with respect, this stuff about Oxbridge people objectively being better across the board on every metric is codswallop.

Anonymous

Well that proves it. WTF is this person on?

Anonymous

They’re ‘on’ lots of money lolololololol

Anonymous

It is time the professions started standing up to march of this inane PC tripe.

Anonymous

I had to go on a diversity course. I had to keep my mouth shut. They wittered on about “unconscious bias” when my biases and very conscious and for objectively justified reasons. But it is clear these do-gooders are more interested in recruiting and promoting to meet fantasy land percentages to reflect the population than recruiting the best and who is best for the business.

Anonymous

Some right fucking cunts posting on here.

Anonymous

Top mulla for top talent

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