Hill Dickinson revokes student’s training contract offer after racism scandal hits Exeter Uni LawSoc

Exeter University is investigating allegations of racism within its student law society after screenshots of a WhatsApp group showing racist messages were shared online.

Student Arsalan Motavali shared the images on Facebook, writing: “Not only are their statements disgusting, they are often targeted towards their peers and some of my close friends, whilst depicting them as an official society belief of Bracton Law Society.”

The screengrabs came from a WhatsApp group entitled “Dodgy Blokes Soc” involving members of Bracton Law Society (BLS), the law society of the University of Exeter.

They contained a long stream of racist, sexist and homophobic messages, including the comment “no BLS for p*kis.”

Bracton Law Society posted on Twitter that those involved have been banned from the group.

Meanwhile, law firm Hill Dickinson has rescinded a student’s training contract offer in light of the scandal.

Hill Dickinson wrote on its own Facebook page: “Following serious allegations made against an individual who was due to join the firm in September 2019, we have now spoken to the individual and revoked his offer of employment. We are deeply disturbed by the messages that were brought to our attention last night and would like to stress that the views expressed by the individual and others involved in this matter do not in any way represent the views of the firm and we absolutely do not condone this behaviour.”

Meanwhile RPC has ended its relationship with another of the students involved, who acted as a campus ambassador for the firm.

Exeter University has suspended the students and launched an investigation into the incident.

Motavali had originally created the group chat in the summer of 2017 as a normal WhatsApp group involving six people, but over time he was removed as admin and more students were added, with the conversations taking a darker tone.

He said: “I did not voice my concerns in the group, but went silent for a long time, rarely pitching in to help with exam advice or talk about football. I mainly stayed in the chat to collect evidence. I did not come out with it straight away due to pressures of third-year, consistent anxiety and worry of how to deal with the situation, so I just kept in to myself and distanced myself from university.”

Earlier this year, a racist incident involving students at Nottingham Trent University was filmed and shared online, sparking a wider conversation about racism on campus.

Motavali wrote: “I’m sure everyone has recently seen the incident of racism at Nottingham Trent University… This event, along with various other factors, have compelled me to finally expose the below screenshots of multiple students of the law school, who have repeatedly made racist and vile comments.”