Gender and the market for students

Legal Week have just posted an interesting looking survey.  This caught my eye:

The top five reasons that influence students to apply for a training contract at a particular firm are career prospects post-qualification; the brand of the firm; gender equality; impressions gained from a summer placement and the availability of LPC funding. Salary and benefits are lower priorities, according to our survey, with perceptions of work/life balance and a law firm’s performance at a graduate fair further down the list.”  (my emphasis)

With gender diversity at partnership level still concerningly weak.  May be firms will start to take this issue seriously And, dear students, when making your assessments of firms, do not be fooled by mentoring schemes and the like.  These have their virtues but what really counts is numbers: what proportion of women are on the partnership; what proportion have been promoted recently.  Firms can fiddle with process to give the feeling and appearance of action, but soon or later reality will bite.

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About Richard Moorhead

Director of the Centre for Ethics and Law and Professor of Law and Professional Ethics at the Faculty of Laws, University College London with an interest in teaching and research on the legal ethics, the professions, legal aid, access to justice and the courts.
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One Response to Gender and the market for students

  1. Andrew says:

    To begin with: training contracts are a seller’s market, and don’t let the would-be solicitors forget it.

    “Reality will bite”. Indeed it will. It will bite when there is a big disclosure project to finish, or a client wants to meet urgently, or you need a con with counsel who can only see you after court – and nobody will give a damn about your private life, whether it centres round dependents or not; you may have as many children as the old woman who lived in a shoe and it will be your problem, and nobody else’s.

    Or if your firm has a rota’ed duty solicitor gig which requires some Saturdays (I speak from bitter experience here) and your child-care falls through late on Friday. Reality will bite when your colleague without children to whom you turn for help says No, sorry, going away for the weekend. Of course I doubt if that happens in academic life!

    Equality cuts both ways and sometimes the cut hurt!

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