How the Legal Profession is becoming more diverse

25/10/2022

It’s no secret that the face of the legal profession is changing, and changing for good. From an industry that has historically been dominated by white males, we are now seeing a more diverse group of lawyers and legal professionals in both England and Wales. This is due to initiatives like the Solicitors Regulation Authority's (SRA) and 'Step Up to the Bar' programme, which are designed to attract a more diverse range of candidates into the profession. 

Typically, this is making the legal industry much more accessible to those looking for a career in law. But what does this changing demographic really mean for those looking to enter the legal profession? At the University of Bolton, our law courses have been voted first in the UK for Student Satisfaction; let’s see how we can help you fulfill your career ambitions as an aspiring lawyer or solicitor.  

Law

Diversity in the Legal Profession 

Interested in law? Perhaps you’re aware of the current legal battle between insurers and high-street retailers who are looking to claim millions in compensation under their business interruption policies? A legal battle that has seen a victory for British bakery chain, Greggs. 

Is it your passion for wanting to protect society that makes you want to enter the legal profession? The reality is that there are many reasons why a more diverse range of people are choosing to become lawyers. For some, it might be their love for upholding the law. For others, it might be their desire to fight for justice and help those who have been disadvantaged or discriminated against. Whatever the reason, it’s evident that the industry is changing for the better. This is proved by the current size of the legal industry. Only coming second to the US, the legal services industry in the UK is one of the largest in the world; generating around £32 billion last year. A figure that is expected to grow in years to come. 

Men in the Law Industry  

With the legal sector being traditionally male-dominated, one thing that is important to consider is the number of men who are choosing to become lawyers today. In fact, white males contribute one of the highest proportions of UK Solicitors, at 40%; followed by 8% of male solicitors coming from ethnic minorities. As previously mentioned, a large contributing factor to these figures has come from initiatives like the ‘Step Up to the Bar’ programme; which was set up to encourage more men from all backgrounds to consider pursuing a career in law.  

women in lawWomen in Law  

Female lawyers and solicitors are where the biggest changing demographic is happening. According to the SRA, women lawyers now make-up 52% of all law firms; in comparison to 17% of Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) lawyers, and 5% of lawyers with disabilities. This change has been driven by a number of factors; a key reason being due to an increased awareness of gender inequality in society and a desire to do something about it. Additionally, we are seeing more women enter the legal profession than ever before as a result of an increase in flexible working arrangements, as it allows them to better balance their work and home lives. 

Looking for a key takeaway? Although, whites still make up the majority of legal professionals, not only have females reduced the gender inequality gap in the industry, but ethnic minorities are starting to gain a worthy foothold in the profession. Accounting for around 20% of all practicing lawyers and solicitors, this is a major increase from a few decades ago, when the figure was less than 5%. 

Enter an Inclusive Legal Industry with help from an Inclusive University! 

When you look at the changing nature of the law industry today, it’s clear that there’s never been a better time to enter the profession.  

Law at Bolton

With an LLB (Hons) Law degree at Bolton University, we can help you become a lawyer in the making! We ensure that our students receive the education they deserve, which will best prepare them for a successful legal career. As a member of the Bolton School of Law, you can expect to gain access to our state-of-the-art Moot court, our Legal Advice Centre, and our dedicated law library, giving you not only the theoretical resources you need but also the practical knowledge to ensure you leave Bolton with the best possible degree. Our Legal Advice Centre plays a huge role in how we offer this to our students; offering a centre that is run by our students and supported by experienced legal practitioners, offering free legal advice to members of the public.  

Our law students also get the chance to join our prestigious University of Bolton Student Law Society, which organises court trips and guest speakers; introducing them to both the expertise of our industry contacts and the real-world environment that they will face after completing their studies. Our courses are designed with employability in mind; that’s why we ensure that our students receive the highest standard of legal training from our experienced lecturer team. That’s what our supportive learning environment is all about! 

Like the sound of what the University of Bolton can offer? Don’t just read about us; visit us in person by booking one of our upcoming Open Days! Speak to our current students, and lecturers, and look around our School of Law. 

You can also find out more by contacting a member of our team at enquiries@bolton.ac.uk or calling us on 01204 903807. 
 
*Complete University Guide – 2023 - UK 
 

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