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    (Original post by Dajo123)
    :confused: Thats what i trying to get through to her.......
    Oh well. It has gone rather quiet on this thread now. I believe the debate between muncrun and Dajo123 hasn't finished yet
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    Yes ND, you're right. Let's get started again. I'll leave off the whole over-representation side of things (for the now), and focus on another part of your argument.

    (Original post by Dajo123)
    However, i am not sure if you acknowledge that currently not enough is being done to widen diversity (im not being rude) among ALL members of society.
    I previously argued the reasons as to why the current state of the judiciary (and with it I intended to include all other areas of the legal profession) does not adequately reflect the demographic make-up of society. I shall not repeat the whole argument again, but I shall acknowledge that I was a little wide of the mark with my 30-40 years claim. Upon reflection I think 20-30 years is a little more accurate, but I don't believe this modification substantially affects the validity of my argument.

    Your figures regarding the ethnicity of those joining the bar back up my claim that there is, in fact, a lot being done to promote ethnic diversity. I don't think it is fair to say that there is currently not enough being done to widen diversity. Both our figures point to the fact that there is arguably more than enough being done (since the numbers of ethnic minorities entering the profession exceeds their demographic representation of the population). Even without figures to hand, I can confidently assert that law schools are educating more women than men. Surely this indicates that attitudes have changed at the bottom of the professional ladder. The same is also true at the top of the ladder, especially with regard to the judiciary, where there is a tidal wave of reform intended to wash away all residues of the 'old boy' network and the 'tap on the shoulder' approach to appointments.

    But results cannot occur overnight. Establishing the framework for a fair appointments process is one thing that can be achieved merely by the passage of legislation, however establishing a representative pool of candidates while maintaining a meritorious system of appointments is quite another. It will take 20-30 years for representativeness to trickle down (trickle up?) to the levels on the career ladder of judicial appointments and partnership in private practice. If we were to do this any other way (i.e. accelerate the rate at which we increase representativeness), it would surely be at the expense of such qualities as experience and knowledge: it would lead to a less-qualified profession. At the risk of sounding dogmatic, I think it would be absurd to wish for a more representative judiciary (or any other profession) at the expense of quality.

    From a prospective view it can be seen that the state of the profession will offer a level playing field to those minorities that are entering it today. As such minorities climb the career ladder, they will find that the obstacles of discrimination have already been cleared from their path. Their only remaining obstacle, quite rightly, will be to acquire the meritorious qualities that are needed for such progession.

    Consequently, I feel, based on the reasoning above, that your assertion that enough is currently not being done lacks force and validity.

    There. I think that was pretty level-headed and non-personal.
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    (Original post by muncrun)
    Your figures regarding the ethnicity of those joining the bar back up my claim that there is, in fact, a lot being done to promote ethnic diversity. I don't think it is fair to say that there is currently not enough being done to widen diversity. Both our figures point to the fact that there is arguably more than enough being done (since the numbers of ethnic minorities entering the profession exceeds their demographic representation of the population). Even without figures to hand, I can confidently assert that law schools are educating more women than men. Surely this indicates that attitudes have changed at the bottom of the professional ladder. The same is also true at the top of the ladder, especially with regard to the judiciary, where there is a tidal wave of reform intended to wash away all residues of the 'old boy' network and the 'tap on the shoulder' approach to appointments.
    I sort of agree with your point on the judicial system. The abolition of the Lord Chancellor’s role is definitely a good thing, but the government has rushed through with this idea and hasn’t really decided on what will replace him. So, I feel we cannot assume the system that replaces this 400 year old role will be any less or more competent at increasing diversity in judicial appointments when we don’t have any concrete proposals on what it is.

    I agree that there is increasing diversity within the legal profession at the lower ends of the profession, but not at the top end. If you look at my original post I believe my actual words were “I think this whole issue bothers me because i am attracted to working for one of the so called “magic circle” firms and it pisses me off how snobby they seem”, and so my arguments are largely targeted at this area of the legal profession. Each firm posts profiles of all current trainees online and once you have waded through a few hundred profiles, a clear pattern starts to emerge as to the type of people given a training contract. Viewing these profiles i have found that it is not often you come across a black, Indian or oriental face and if you do they are usually male. Few of the trainees are born outside the U.K. (even immigrants from "white" foreign countries are underrepresented) and it is rare to find a trainee who wasn’t educated at Oxbridge, LSE, UCL or a top 15 university (bear in mind that 40 - 50 % of students from these Universities were privately educated). Also, and most importantly, I have yet to come across a disabled trainee.

    It is this particular situation that I was originally concerned with as it’s the area I wish to go into and its not as diverse as the world class city in which it is based.

    I know of some top firms that run special recruitment programmes specifically for black people, but I feel that this is wrong and is focusing too much on one underrepresented group within their midst. I would also like to point out that the percentage of ethnic minorities who are currently in the later stages of legal education and you refer to as "entering the legal profession", is completely different to the percentage who end up practising as a Barrister or Solicitor, there seems to be a black hole between these two figures.

    However, we have spoken enough about the "ethnic minorities argument" and I feel that it is too narrow and detracts from other groups who are underrepresented in this area e.g. the disabled, people from deprived backgrounds, the working class, immigrants (who are not always ethnic) and to an extent women. It does not take long to train a Solicitor and I feel it is a shame that prejudice still exists within med – large law firms, especially within London, while other areas appear to be (ever so slowly) changing.
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    BTW, i missed out age discrimination in my above post.
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    (Original post by muncrun)
    Your figures regarding the ethnicity of those joining the bar back up my claim that there is, in fact, a lot being done to promote ethnic diversity. I don't think it is fair to say that there is currently not enough being done to widen diversity. Both our figures point to the fact that there is arguably more than enough being done (since the numbers of ethnic minorities entering the profession exceeds their demographic representation of the population). Even without figures to hand, I can confidently assert that law schools are educating more women than men. Surely this indicates that attitudes have changed at the bottom of the professional ladder. The same is also true at the top of the ladder, especially with regard to the judiciary, where there is a tidal wave of reform intended to wash away all residues of the 'old boy' network and the 'tap on the shoulder' approach to appointments.
    I sort of agree with your point on the judicial system. The abolition of the Lord Chancellor’s role is definitely a good thing, but the government has rushed through with this idea and hasn’t really decided on what will replace him. So, I feel we cannot assume the system that replaces this 400 year old role will be any less or more competent at increasing diversity in judicial appointments when we don’t have any concrete proposals on what it is.

    I agree that there is increasing diversity within the legal profession at the lower ends of the profession, but not at the top end. If you look at my original post I believe my actual words were “I think this whole issue bothers me because i am attracted to working for one of the so called “magic circle” firms and it pisses me off how snobby they seem”, and so my arguments are largely targeted at this area of the legal profession. Each firm posts profiles of all current trainees online and once you have waded through a few hundred profiles, a clear pattern starts to emerge as to the type of people given a training contract. Viewing these profiles i have found that it is not often you come across a black, Indian or oriental face and if you do they are usually male. Few of the trainees are born outside the U.K. (even immigrants from "white" foreign countries are underrepresented) and it is rare to find a trainee who wasn’t educated at Oxbridge, LSE, UCL or a top 15 university (bear in mind that 40 - 50 % of students from these Universities were privately educated). Also, and most importantly, I have yet to come across a disabled trainee.

    It is this particular situation that I was originally concerned with as it’s the area I wish to go into and its not as diverse as the world class city in which it is based.

    I know of some top firms that run special recruitment programmes specifically for black people, but I feel that this is wrong and is focusing too much on one underrepresented group within their midst. I would also like to point out that the percentage of ethnic minorities who are currently in the later stages of legal education and you refer to as "entering the legal profession", is completely different to the percentage who end up practising as a Barrister or Solicitor, there seems to be a black hole between these two figures.

    However, we have spoken enough about the "ethnic minorities argument" and I feel that it is too narrow and detracts from other groups who are underrepresented in this area e.g. the disabled, people from deprived backgrounds, the working class, immigrants (who are not always ethnic) and to an extent women. It does not take long to train a Solicitor and I feel it is a shame that prejudice still exists within med – large law firms, especially within London, while other areas appear to be (ever so slowly) changing.

    Almost forgot, add on age discrimination aswell.
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    (Original post by Dajo123)
    I sort of agree with your point on the judicial system. The abolition of the Lord Chancellor’s role is definitely a good thing.
    Why?

    (Original post by Dajo123)
    ...but the government has rushed through with this idea and hasn’t really decided on what will replace him.
    A Ministry of Justice?

    (Original post by Dajo123)
    So, I feel we cannot assume the system that replaces this 400 year old role will be any less or more competent at increasing diversity in judicial appointments when we don’t have any concrete proposals on what it is.
    It's older than at by about twice-fold.

    (Original post by Dajo123)
    I know of some top firms that run special recruitment programmes specifically for black people, but I feel that this is wrong and is focusing too much on one underrepresented group within their midst.
    They do it because it's political. Hence, not looking at other 'sorts' of people whom of which are underrepresented. Out of the underrepresented people I wonder how blacks compare to the lot?

    (Original post by Dajo123)
    However, we have spoken enough about the "ethnic minorities argument" and I feel that it is too narrow and detracts from other groups who are underrepresented in this area e.g. the disabled, people from deprived backgrounds, the working class, immigrants (who are not always ethnic) and to an extent women.
    I agree. Too much social engineering in one part and not enough in others. It wouldn't surprise me if the working class were actually worse off. Anyone know?
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    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    Why?
    Because the current process of him "deciding" (i know its slightly more complex than this) who is to be appointed and the whole "secret sessions" that get you on the list seem undemocratic. I understand that Judges cannot be elected if they are to retain their independence but the system is in dire need of modernisation

    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    A Ministry of Justice?
    The plans have been defeated by the archaic Lords (for now).

    http://www.dehavilland.co.uk/webhost...=10&searchid=8

    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    It's older than at by about twice-fold.
    It may date back as far as Angmendus in 605, making it 1,400 years old . But you are right, it is generally accepted to be 1000 years old. However, i was referring to the Chancellors role in appointing Q.C.s, which is actually 400 years old ( basically, i made Freudian slip ).
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    (Original post by Dajo123)
    However, we have spoken enough about the "ethnic minorities argument" and I feel that it is too narrow and detracts from other groups who are underrepresented in this area e.g. the disabled, people from deprived backgrounds, the working class, immigrants (who are not always ethnic) and to an extent women. It does not take long to train a Solicitor and I feel it is a shame that prejudice still exists within med – large law firms, especially within London, while other areas appear to be (ever so slowly) changing.
    First, I have to say that my experience of trainees and recruitment literature offered by firms is rather different from yours. I see a lot of women. Granted, not as many as there are men, but then there are other reasons as to why there are less women in the city: more women themselves may be averse to the idea of a career in top law firm; they may choose to have families and not return or work in a less intensive environrent with their children in mind. What I am trying to say is that the attitudes of women themselves in society haven't yet (and may not) harmonise with society's views of equality. That is not to say there isn't, or shouldn't be, the opportunity for those women who choose such a career route. I have spoken to a number of trainees, associates, partners and barristers who have said that the obstacles have been dismantled and the landscape of today's profession is very much equal for anyone. We all hear of the odd case in the newspapers concerning discrimination against women, but I can 't help but feel that these are the exceptions rather than the rule, which is why we hear of them.

    A more interesting point I feel you have made concerned the working class in the profession. Just to clarify, I'm from an upper-working class background and comprehensively educated: not exactly poor, but then again certainly not well off. I thought I'd mention this to dispel any possible perception of a partisan opinion. Anyway, back to my point. Where does one draw the line between recruitment based on merit and recruitment based on discriminating principles against the working class? To elucidate, it is a fact of life that people from better backgrounds, who can often afford a private education, succeed more in their education than those from working class backgrounds. The disparity does not just apply to education, but also to accents. Do you think it's discrimination to prefer the well-spoken applicant to the roughly-spoken Brummy applicant, with all other things being equal? Should all law firms have a representative number 'chavs' clad in burberry?This could apply to an long list of characteristics, whereby there is a difference between those from different backgrounds. My personal opinion is that where it is possible (and I use this word in a wide sense) for an individual to change a characteristic, then I do not see that the law firm should be accused of discriminating against him (or her!). That is to say I do not think it is right for a firm to be accused of discriminating against someone who has a rough accent for example, as it is possible for that person to change their accent. I come from an area where most people around me speak poorly (by an objective standard of 'properly' spoken English). I have felt that it has been rightly necessary for me to change the way I speak and dress and meet law firms on their level where it has been possible for me to do so. In return I don't expect to discriminate against those things that are impossible for me to change, and I have to say that I am confident they do not.

    Granted, law firms undoubtedly do recruit more people from middle class backgrounds than from anywhere else. Surely, it is not the fault of the legal profession, who will rightly recruit the better educated/spoken/presented individual who is more likely to come from a better background. If this is the case then surely you should be attacking the social and education policies of the government for allowing such a disparity in standards. This is where I feel the problem lies, and is where I direct my criticisms. It is therefore something that is not unique to the legal profession, but to all professions which demand meritorious standards. And it is then certainly not the fault of such professions, but the failings of wider sociological policies of past and present.

    I conclude by saying that this reasoning can be applied to many minorities, and not just the working class. I know that I haven't covered every example of a minority that you have drawn attention to, and the truth is that I don't have extensive knowledge about every minority. What I'm partly trying to do is draw attention to the fact that there are many, many wider issues relating to the whole of society as to why certain aren't reaching the same levels of success, and I don't think it is fair to attach blame to professions, in the form of discrimination.
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    Ahem. About your point about people generally not being recruited from outside the top 15 universities. Maybe that is because they don't provide as good an education? The top 15 are all research-led institutions and therefore a student there is at the forefront of the developments in legal thinking. That counts for a lot in a legal education, as the student will be more encouraged to be critical and creative. This is something that plugs into my argument about law firms recruiting on merit.
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    (Original post by muncrun)
    Ahem. About your point about people generally not being recruited from outside the top 15 universities. Maybe that is because they don't provide as good an education?
    But the quality of the student can still remain high. If we look at the "value added" to students at Unis such as TVU and East London, then we see a much higher figure of improvement over the course of their degree. However, if we look at the Russell Group Unis's, the "value added" is significantly lower. It could be argued that Russell Group students have less room for improvement, but i think differently. I feel students who manage to gain a 1st or 2:1 from a Uni such as East London (where the number achieving this is in the 35 -45% bracket) show an amazing amount of resourcefulness, drive and intellect. This is because the percentage of people achieving the same class degree at a Russell Group Uni is so much higher, due to the much higher standard of teaching, support etc. I understand that med - large legal firms need to take on the very best trainees in order to remain commercially viable, but it’s a shame they do not take the best students from ALL the different universities and by default social backgrounds.

    When i start Uni this September i intend to gain a greater understanding on the issue of prejudice (and many other issues) within the legal profession by brain draining my various lecturers, god help them. But at the moment i do not feel qualified to continue this debate for i have reached the realms of my knowledge on prejudice and would embarrass myself with unarticulated assumptions.

    P.S. This debate (while heated at times) has been very intriguing and you have raised some extremely good, sound and valid points (but i still disagree with a lot of them.......... for now )
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    (Original post by muncrun)
    Ahem. About your point about people generally not being recruited from outside the top 15 universities. Maybe that is because they don't provide as good an education? The top 15 are all research-led institutions and therefore a student there is at the forefront of the developments in legal thinking. That counts for a lot in a legal education, as the student will be more encouraged to be critical and creative. This is something that plugs into my argument about law firms recruiting on merit.
    I can see the argument where research comes into it. Although I have seen universities with lower RAE scores tie or even behind other universities which have a lower RAE score, such as Keel drawing with Liverpool and so on. And Queen Mary's who is a 5*A is quite low, although they are not too far outside the top 20

    Unless I'm missing something....?
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    I did my work experience at the chambers only for 2 days instead of till friday! It was such a waste of my time. Literally all the barristers were on holiday and i weren't allowed to spend time with them anyway because i was only work experience girl! All i did was the jobs the clerks didnt wanna do! I went there to get a better understanding as to whether or not i wanted to be a barrister and i didnt even get the chance to find out! I just thought i would share that with people!
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    (Original post by twinkledust)
    I did my work experience at the chambers only for 2 days instead of till friday! It was such a waste of my time. Literally all the barristers were on holiday and i weren't allowed to spend time with them anyway because i was only work experience girl! All i did was the jobs the clerks didnt wanna do! I went there to get a better understanding as to whether or not i wanted to be a barrister and i didnt even get the chance to find out! I just thought i would share that with people!
    That’s terrible, but sadly i have heard very similar accounts from people on work experience in chambers, some barristers view themselves as royalty and see interns as "the great unwashed" who are to be kept out of sight and out of mind.
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    (Original post by Dajo123)
    That’s terrible, but sadly i have heard very similar accounts from people on work experience in chambers, some barristers view themselves as royalty and see interns as "the great unwashed" who are to be kept out of sight and out of mind.
    Is there a way to find out how good they are to undertake work experience there? Be nice to see reviews or something?
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    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    Is there a way to find out how good they are to undertake work experience there? Be nice to see reviews or something?
    I haven’t heard of any reviews specifically targeted at prospective interns, but it does sound a good idea, you may be able to find some accounts from summer interns if you trawl through various university websites. However, i think you may just have to rely on largely on advice from your law careers advisor. I will promptly post links on hear if i hear of any specific review thingys.
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    (Original post by Dajo123)
    I will promptly post links on hear if i hear of any specific review thingys
    Thank you for that. Although information from universities may be biased, as the chambers in question may treat Oxford students differently to say Kent ones. This is no help.
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    Please add me to the UKL law soc

    I wondered can you still make it as a lawyer with only a 2:2 (hons) degree?

    :confused:
    LT
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    (Original post by looneytunes)
    Please add me to the UKL law soc
    Welcome, I'll add you to the members' list.
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    (Original post by looneytunes)
    I wondered can you still make it as a lawyer with only a 2:2 (hons) degree?

    :confused:
    LT
    Lawyer meaning barrister, solicitor or either?

    Also where have you graduated from?
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