Law Society of Scotland urges law firms to adopt ‘fair access’ policies

The Law Society of Scotland has urged law firms to avoid asking candidates about their educational background and to accept alternative form of work experience in a bid to ensure fair access to the profession.

It is asking that firms avoid asking candidates for personal details such as their age or title and for details on where they went to school or university. The society also questioned the value of asking for school grades, pointing out that many universities contextualise their recruitment and that PriceWaterhouseCoopers no longer asks for school grades.

It also recommends that firms consider candidates with alternative work experience to vacation schemes at firms and to pay extra attention to any parts of the application process which could lead to unconscious bias.

Law Society of Scotland vice president Eilidh Wiseman said: “Many organisations may not be aware that their current recruitment processes exclude applications from candidates who would make excellent trainees or new solicitor employees.

“We know traineeships and those all important first jobs can be difficult to find and that it is impossible for employers to be able to interview several hundred candidates, but changing some recruitment processes can make a big difference.”

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