By Legal Futures’ Associates CILEX
It is widely recognised that the legal profession has a diversity problem. Around 21% of solicitors and 34% of barristers attended fee-paying schools, compared to 7% of the general population. More than half have parents with degree-level qualifications, compared to 19% in the general population.
Far more needs to be done to bring the profession into the 21st century and CILEX and its members have an important part to play. CILEX remains the primary route for non-graduates and those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds to access careers in the law. Our alternative path to qualification plays a vital role in opening up the profession to the wealth of talented and ambitious people who might otherwise consider a legal career to be out of reach.
To help us understand the cultural barriers to diversity and inclusion in the legal sector, CILEX has launched a major new initiative designed to gather more insights than ever before on our members and their experiences of working in the legal profession.
We are looking to our members to help us reshape legal services by sharing their stories so that we can represent their interests and influence government, regulators, banks and building societies, agencies, educators and fellow professional bodies.
By participating members will also be playing their part in influencing CILEX’s activities by telling us about the barriers they face at work, whether that’s undertaking key aspects of their role or progressing their careers.
Telling us about their day-to-day experiences of working life will also help us make sure they have access to the member services and benefits that will help them succeed.
We are calling on our members to take part. Even in today’s Britain, it remains the case that there is a subtle – and at times not-so-subtle – level of discrimination against CILEX Lawyers in the legal profession. We are working hard to change that and capturing this valuable information will help us drive that change and build on the work we are already doing to achieve equality for our members.
Pipeline, an independent consultancy is conducting this research on CILEX’s behalf. All information submitted will be anonymous and for everyone who takes part, a donation will be made to the CILEX Foundation which supports aspiring lawyers and helps those members experiencing unexpected hardship to progress with their studies.
Further details can be found here.