In-house lawyers berate lack of diversity
12 January 2018
In-house lawyers have been disclosing their best and worst opinions of law firms in the RollOnFriday survey. If you work in-house and haven't completed the form yet, you can do so here
The lack of diversity in law firms has been a bugbear for many respondents. One in-house lawyer said that they wanted their law firms to "be like the business I work in
", but instead found that most firms are "pale, male and stale
". The in-house believed that non-diverse firms were "filled with people who struggle to empathise and have no emotional intelligence
", whereas firms with greater diversity didn't suffer from the same problems.
Another respondent who agreed with this sentiment said "people from different backgrounds, particularly different socio-economic backgrounds, can bring different and more pragmatic approaches to problems
One in-house lawyer complained that a firm's lack of diversity meant that on international deals it had narrow-minded lawyers who "only know how to crack stereotypical jokes that they picked up in their Oxbridge union bar
||The board tried not to stare when a woman entered the room.
One female client said that it was depressing to attend meetings at a law firm where she was "the only senior woman in the room".
She added that it was time for firms "to join the 21st century"
since they were "making financial services look good, and that is really saying something"
However, not all the respondents felt that diversity was an issue. One client said that meritocracy was more important, whilst another agreed that a lawyer's competency to do the work was what mattered most, rather than their background.