Robert Walters and Aspiring Solicitors partner in a pledge to increase diversity in the legal profession

Robert Walters and Aspiring Solicitors partner in a pledge to increase diversity in the legal profession

Almost half (46%) of employers do not have programmes in place to attract diverse candidates, according to a Robert Walters whitepaper.

And whilst 85% of employers claim that increasing diversity in their workforce is a ‘priority,’ less than one in five lawyers (21%) are from a black, Asian, minority ethnic (BAME) background – according to the latest data provided by Solicitors Regulation Authority.  

To tackle this, global recruiter Robert Walters has partnered with leading diversity platform - Aspiring Solicitors - to bring about real change in the legal sphere.

Sam Walters, Director of Legal at Robert Walters, comments: “As one of the leading recruiters for the legal sector, we hear daily from our clients the need to tackle the issue of diversity in the sector. Whilst we have been successful at sourcing top talent from diverse backgrounds, we still feel more can - and should - be done.

The partnership will see both parties build, test and implement a number of initiatives that will not only improve access to the legal profession but will also help the legal sector to become better at recruiting talent from diverse backgrounds.

“I’ve been familiar with the work that Aspiring Solicitors do for some time now, and given the day-to-day interactions we have with law firms and in house organisations that are hiring, it made absolute sense to bring in the expertise and knowledge that AS have of understanding and recruiting candidates from a diverse background.”

The partnership will see both parties build, test and implement a number of initiatives that will not only improve access to the legal profession but will also help the legal sector to become better at recruiting talent from diverse backgrounds.

Robert Walters will host workshops for those going through the Aspiring Solicitors programme covering a range of employability sessions. The partnership will also see a series of inspiring career talks and networking events made available to budding lawyers from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Chris White, founder and CEO of Aspiring Solicitors, comments: “The diversity and inclusion challenges in the legal profession remain real and significant in private practice and in-house.  We’re committed to ensuring the best people for the job get the opportunity to secure it and that includes aspiring solicitors who are BAME, socially mobile, LGBT+ and who have disabilities and long-term health conditions (four of the main groups we focus our efforts on).

Aspiring Solicitors has achieved a great deal in the last five years (with our members securing over 1450 vacation schemes and training contracts) but partnering with Robert Walters will help us to take our aims and objectives to the next level and we look forward to building the collaboration to do just that. We’ve got some exciting plans in 2019 and we look forward to delivering them to the profession and aspiring solicitors alike.”

The partnership officially launched in January 2019.

For more information and how to get involved in the programme, contact Sam Walters, Director for Robert Walters London legal team, at sam.walters@robertwalters.com