Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Legal: The Breakdown

With the release of Harvey John’s eBook on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Legal team wanted to thank everyone who took part and contributed to our research – thank you!

We wanted to share a quick snapshot of the data we received from our legal network.

We’re hoping that this quick run-down, along with the eBook, will help stimulate more conversation around how we can improve DE&I within the legal market.

No better time than the present!

The Breakdown

76.9% felt that progression at their firm was impacted by gender, race, disability, sexuality, ethnicity, age or social class.


57.7% felt that there was a lack of diversity at or above a Senior Management level at their firm.


43.6% felt that their firm was not doing enough to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.


47.4% felt that they’d been personally affected by diversity issues in the workplace.


44.9% noted that their current firm has networks for minority groups.

The Respondents

The majority of respondents were at the Associate grade (43.6%), followed by Manager (14.1%), then Senior Manager (11.5%). At the bottom were Assistant Managers (1.3%)

Our respondents worked all across the legal sector, though the majority of our respondents (53.9%) worked at a law firm. But we also saw responses from in-house (21.8%), and Government/Authorities (6.4%).

  • 75.6% of respondents were White British or from another white background.
  • 65.4% of respondents reported themselves as middle-class, with 28.2% considering themselves working-class
  • 65.4% of respondents considered themselves as female, which is a full 16% higher than the SRA 2019 stats and the highest across each of our specialist sectors. 
  • 10.3% of respondents reported themselves as having a disability. This is the highest representation across all of our specialist sectors. 

Going Forward

There’s a lot to unpick here, but when looking at figures, it’s evident that conversations are occurring and progress is happening, but there are still areas that can be improved.

Whilst some initiatives exist, such as Aspiring Solicitors, UpReach, with LawCareers Diversity Access Schemes gathering a lot of these initiatives in one place, these initiatives all mainly focus on improving diversity in the candidate pool. This is great, but will only come to fruition further down the road. 

And a broader pool of applicants won’t improve diversity if they simply aren’t being hired. Some attempts have been made to encourage improvements in law firms in the present, such as LawCareers.Net’s Commendation for Diversity, but it’s too soon to say whether these attempts will have an impact.

This raises the question of what can be done in the present to increase representation and diversity in Law?

To explore our analysis of the legal market in more detail, be sure to get your copy of Harvey John’s latest eBook on DE&I.

Follow us on LinkedIn for more updates over the coming months specific to DE&I in Law.

Want to see how Law compares? Check out our Accountancy & Finance, Tax, and Treasury snapshots on our Media Hub.

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