Legal profession dominates latest social mobility rankings 

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By Thomas Connelly on


Over 40 firms

The legal profession has dominated the latest social mobility rankings with over half of this year’s successful entires coming from law firms.

Now in its seventh year, The Social Mobility Foundation’s index evaluates and ranks UK organisations on a range of criteria including engagement with young people, apprenticeships, recruitment processes and the career paths of individuals from lower income backgrounds.

The accolade of highest ranking law firm went to national outfit Browne Jacobson, finishing in second place on this year’s list. The firm came top on 2022 index.

Elsewhere in the top 10, Magic Circle duo Linklaters and Allen & Overy placed sixth and seventh respectively, while Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner scooped ninth spot on the list.

There were top 20 finishes for Womble Bond Dickinson (11th), DLA Piper (12th), Baker McKenzie (13th), Lewis Silkin (14th), Squire Patton Boggs (16th), CMS (17th), Osborne Clarke (=19th), Slaughter and May (=19th) and Weightmans (20th).

The 2024 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The other law firms to make this list were: DWF (21st); Ashurst (=22nd); Freshfields (=22nd); Macfarlanes (23rd); Hogan Lovells (24th); Brodies (30th); Shepherd and Wedderburn (31st); Mayer Brown (32nd); Clifford Chance (35th); Addleshaw Goddard (36th); Charles Russell Speechlys (37th); Eversheds Sutherland (40th); Clyde & Co (41st); Norton Rose Fulbright (43rd); Simmons & Simmons (45th); TLT (46th); Burges Salmon (47th); Pinsent Masons (50th); Mishcon de Reya (52nd); Burness Paull (=53rd); Stephenson Harwood (=53rd); RPC (58th); Hill Dickinson (61st); Farrer & Co (63rd); Stewarts Law (=65th); White & Case (=65th); Gibson Dunn (=70th) Weil Gotshal (=70th).

Radcliffe Chambers was only barristers’ set to make the list, placing 60th overall.

The Rt Hon Alan Milburn, chair of the The Social Mobility foundation, said:

“Britain has a problem — compared with other developed nations, we have high levels of child poverty and low levels of social mobility. A child born into a low-income family today has just a one in eight chance of becoming a high income earner as an adult. While gender and racial inequality have received growing attention over recent years, social class has too often been the poor relation. It is time to put that right.”

He continued: “In the seventh year of our Social Mobility Employer Index, we see more employers removing obstacles to opportunity for young people so that what their parents or guardians did, where they grew up and what school they went to does not restrict life chances.”

This year’s top spot went to PwC. You can read the full list here.

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