From education to employment

Thousands take part in virtual careers event to help increase diversity in the legal profession

People sat in lecture room

Over 3000 young people from across the UK and Ireland took part in a virtual legal careers insight event, aimed at making the legal profession more diverse.

This year over 53% of participants taking part in Browne Jacobson’s third FAIRE event were from Black, Asian or Minority ethnic communities, 77 % female and  64% from lower socio-economic backgrounds after the organisers pro-actively targeted schools in every social mobility cold spot in the country.

FAIRE (Fairer Access Into Real Experience), which is now in its second year, is delivered in partnership with Young Professionals and has become one of the largest events of its kind in the country.

Tom Lyas, Head of Resourcing at Browne Jacobson and creator of FAIRE, said:

“Over the three FAIRE events we have staged so far, 15,000 young people from all social-economic and minority backgrounds now have a far better insight into the array of opportunities and routes open to them in the legal profession.

“By hearing first hand from so many influential role models, we hope those taking part will be inspired to follow their dreams and ambitions of a career in law.

“For us the importance of building diversity into our talent pipeline cannot be underestimated. It is what our clients want to see, makes great commercial sense and ensures the long term sustainability of our business.

“We hope that events such as FAIRE will act as a catalyst to further improving diversity, equity and inclusion in the profession.”

The 2022 event featured a series of high profile speakers including, amongst others :

  • President of The Law Society Lubna Shuja,
  • Sultana Tafadar of No.5 Chambers – the UK’s first Hijab wearing criminal KC,
  • Laurie-Anne Power, KC – one of only seven Black female KCs in the UK, and
  • Director of O Shaped Dan Kayne.

Themes and topics this year included the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion for the legal profession, insights into life as an in-house lawyer and a barrister, and the value of mentoring in the workplace.

Participants also heard from a number of young lawyers who had pursued alternative pathways into the profession including solicitor apprentices Katy Boyle of Loughborough University and Holly Moore of ITV. This year’s event also included a session specifically for parents & guardians around the career routes open to young people, including a spotlight on legal apprenticeships.

Browne Jacobson is the UK’s number one employer for social mobility according to the Social Mobility Foundation Employer Index.    

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