The legal professions changing racial diversity landscape

Written by: Sarah Smith
Published on: 16 Dec 2020

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The benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace in terms of improved productivity and increased staff retention have been well documented. Data from the Law Society’s annual statistics show progress has been made within the legal profession but surprisingly there remains areas of underrepresentation, notably in those areas that would benefit most.

When comparing 1990 figures, we had 709 solicitors who identified within the BAME group, by 2019, this increased to 20,675.

The representation of BAME groups among our profession has increased consistently every five years since 1994.

Diversity is a long-standing issue for many large firms of which many have taken steps to address, not least because client pressure has been mounting. Despite this our figures show BAME solicitors continue to be underrepresented within City-based International law firms.

At partnership level, BAME solicitors had greater representation in smaller firms than in larger firms, with only 6.5% of partners in the largest firms being from a BAME background, compared to over 22% of partners in two-to-four partner firms and almost 36% of sole practitioners.

Unsurprisingly, BAME solicitors were better represented within the broad in-house sector than in private practice, making up 19% of practising certificate holders within government and of those working in commercial and other in-house organisations compared to 16% of private practitioners.

The bottom line for our profession is that inclusion is good for business. The Law Society’s racial diversity toolkit gives you practical tips on how to cultivate an inclusive culture within your workplace.

Access the Law Society’s racial diversity toolkit

Reach a large, diverse audience of legal talent and find the right fit for your firm.

For more top tips and advice or to discuss your current legal recruitment needs, contact your law society recruitment account manager today – 

Request a call back, call 020 8049 4000 or email

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