If seen, do not approach this man. Not with that tie.
A team at the University of Law has made the most of lockdown by compiling an e-fit purporting to represent the British public's idea of a typical worker in the legal industry, and RollOnFriday is sorry to report that it's an estate agent.
Ulaw generated Frankenployee after surveying 2,000 members of the public. Their answers produced a diversity killer who is male, 35-44 year-old, clean-shaven, tattoo-free and unpierced.
Patrick Johnson, ULaw's Director of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, said the research "has highlighted a stark reality, which is that more needs to be done to
give solicitors septum rings and ink up bazzas redefine what someone working in the legal industry can look like. It is no longer a profession solely for upper class white males, but in fact, accessible to all".
Legal regulators hope the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam and cheaper Bar courses will improve access to the profession in England and Wales, and hasten the demise of the privileged legal stereotype represented by the e-fit.
However, the survey results indicate that the public's conception of law is marginally less pale, male and posh than the e-fit suggests.
While 48% of people pictured those working in the legal industry as white, 12% pictured them as BAME and 38% pictured them as having any ethnicity. And although 25% pictured legal industry workers as male, 19% visualised them as female and 55% saw them as male or female. The public was more certain on class, with 48% or the respondents picturing someone in the legal industry to be upper middle class, and 8% picturing them as upper class.
According to the SRA, law firms actually surpass the diversity of the UK workforce in key areas. Its data suggests that 49% of solicitors in law firms in England and Wales are women, compared to 47% in the general UK workforce, and that 21% are BAME compared to 13% of the workforce in England, Scotland and Wales. There are indications firms are disproportionately posh compared to the wider population, however. Although only 21% of solicitors in law firms attended a fee-paying school, that was three times the national average.
Inspired by ULaw, RollOnFriday's profiling team worked up an e-fit representing the legal profession’s idea of a typical member of the public: