The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) has focused on diversity in the legal profession at its 2013 graduation ceremony.
Justice Minister and Minister for Women and Equalities Helen Grant MP attended the ceremony where she endorsed legal apprenticeships while praising the route’s diverse make up.
The former lawyer told graduates that she had worked alongside CILEx members when she established her law firm before entering politics.
Grant said: “The Chartered Institute is one of the only approved regulators to have adopted a flexible approach for entry into law. This approach has produced some great results and it is encouraging to see that 74 per cent of CILEx members are women, while 36 per cent of student members are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.”
The minister also reiterated why she chooses to oppose positive discrimination, saying: “quotas treat symptoms, not causes.”
Brethertons partner and chartered legal executive Trevor Dyer also spoke at the graduation ceremony. He told newly accredited CILEx members: “Twenty or thirty years ago you had to be a white male to make it to the top of a law firm. I look around this room today and I see how that is changing.
“The legal profession continues to change. New entrants to the market and new ways of providing legal services will continue to challenge the status quo. I’m a great believer in looking over the hill and seeing what’s coming.
He added: “At last, the old guard is being dismantled within the legal sector and the profession is starting to see parity at the top level.”
An apprenticeship in legal services led by CILEx will be launched this autumn (18 January 2013).