Freshfields reaches out to LGBT students

Magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has hosted its first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) social event for aspiring lawyers at Cambridge University.

The pilot event, which was held earlier this week, is being followed by a similar evening next Tuesday (11 November) for students at Oxford University. Freshfields hopes to extend the event to other UK universities, with the next planned for London in 2009.

Freshfields associate Peter Orlov, who has coordinated the events, said: City law has traditionally been seen as a macho and heterosexual environment to work in and were aware that students – and LGBT students specifically – often have misgivings about a career in the City as a result

Head of trainee recruitment at Freshfields, Deborah Dalgleish, added: Wed like the firm to be more diverse at all levels, so attracting, developing and retaining graduates from the widest possible pool is key to that. These events reflect our commitment to achieving that aim and we hope to replicate them next year.

Freshfields LGBT group has existed on an informal level for a number of years, but was formalised in summer 2007. The group meets socially, providing a support network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who work at the firm.

Other firms that have set up LGBT groups include Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith.