FROM DIVERSITY IN LAW: AN INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING MAGAZINE

Celebrating diversity in law

Today's young lawyers come from a much more diverse background than their predecessors ever did, says Piers Warburton

Of all occupations, it is surely the legal profession that should embrace diversity with the greatest enthusiasm. The principles of equality and of respect for individual rights, irrespective of background are, after all, fundamental to the law.

Yet for too long it seemed that diversity presented a great challenge to the profession. The old traditions of the law firm and the barristers' chambers died hard, and talk of old boys' networks and glass ceilings lingered. Meanwhile, other professions recognised and welcomed the benefits of a diverse workforce.

However, there can be no doubt that the legal profession has changed fundamentally over the past decade. A short walk around the office of any major law firm illustrates that today's young lawyers come from far more diverse backgrounds than their predecessors ever did.

The reality, of course, is that the profession had no choice but to embrace change. Faced with increasingly sophisticated clients, the demands of globalisation, and with ever more intense competition, no law firm can afford to ignore talent. Furthermore, the development of an active legal recruitment market means that the talent can go wherever its skills are best recognised. In many ways it is competition that is destroying old prejudices.

But if the changing attitudes of law firms have been driven, in part at least, by economic necessity, does that mean that the changes are somehow less sincere and the effect of those changes less profound? In a word, no. First, there is, of course, nothing more sincere than a law firm in pursuit of its own economic wellbeing. And second, whatever the causes may be, the changes that are taking place are not just profound, but irreversible. A truly diverse organisation will maintain its own diversity. To a degree, therefore, it does not matter how or why that diversity comes about - merely that it does.

Of course, the process of change is not yet complete. However, the fact that law firms are publicly recognising the importance of diversity is the clearest indicator of their determination to complete the process that has begun.

The legal profession continues to provide a variety of enormously challenging and rewarding careers. This magazine is designed to explain some of the choices open to those considering a career in the law, and to provide an insight into life in the profession. In particular, it aims to explain some of the steps being taken to extend access to the profession to all parts of society. That such prestigious law firms have chosen to support this magazine is evidence of the fundamental changes that have been taking place within the profession. It is those firms that embrace diversity that will reap its rewards and that fact is something we can all celebrate.

Piers Warburton is co-founder of RollOnFriday ( www.rollonfriday.com)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

C# R&D .NET Developer-Algorithms, WCF, WPF, Agile, ASP.NET,MVC

£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows, Network Security)

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...

First Class Graduate (Computer Science, Economics, Finance)

£23000 per annum: Harrington Starr: First Class Graduate (Computer Science, Ec...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor