Pinsent Masons’ controversial socio-economic monitoring has revealed that 62 per cent of applicants who were offered a place on the firm’s vacation scheme were from state schools.
The statistics showed that 605 applications out of 973 were state school educated, while only 286 were from independent schools with 29 per cent offered a placement.
Graduate recruitment manager Edward Walker said: “This is the first set of results we’ve got, it is only the tip of the iceberg, over time we will be able to see if it’s only a one off, and also if the same results will occur when it comes to offering training contracts,”
“Our results look positive but we know there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of how many schools apply in the first place.”
Walker explained that in response to increasing social mobility Pinsents has invested more into its Gap Year Scheme, plans to attend more law fairs and make more available on its website from presentations at universities.
Walker added: “We want to create a more transparent process and allow more people to access the information if we haven’t attended their university.”
The move by Pinsents to broaden its equal opportunities monitoring received heavy criticism after students felt that the law firm had a hidden agenda in asking the specific questions despite them being delivered on an anonymised basis (read more).
The law firm asked for the candidates’ school status, whether they were eligible for free school meals and if they were among the first generation of their family to attend university.
The news arrives as social mobility moves further into law firms diversity radars following a high-level summit aimed at addressing issues across the entire legal profession due to upcoming tuition fee hikes, as reported on Lawyer2B.com last Monday (4 April).