Law society

How to boost social mobility in your law firm

Companies regulated by the SRA must report data on the diversity of their workforce, including statistics on socio-economic diversity. This made it possible to build an image at national and regional level.

The 2021 SRA data on socio-economic background in law firms examines parental occupation at age 14, type of school and parental qualifications:

  • 23% of solicitors have attended a fee-paying school (compared to 7.5% nationally)
  • 58% come from a professional background – meaning their parents worked in occupations classified as professional rather than intermediate or labor (compared to 37% nationally)

Learn more about the diversity of law firms

1. Measure – the crucial first step

To design an evidence-based strategy to boost the social mobility of your workforce, it is important to collect data on the socio-economic background of your employees and potential recruits.

We recommend following the guidance on best practices for collecting and analyzing socio-economic data to help you:

  • better understand where intervention is needed
  • monitor progress

Employers have used several questions to capture the socio-economic background of employees, but which is the best?

“What was the profession of the main breadwinner when you were 14? »

This is the key question recommended by the Social Mobility Commission to accurately and simply measure socio-economic diversity, supplemented by three other complementary questions.

The SRA already requires companies to collect data in a manner consistent with recommended best practices.

We’ve integrated a toolkit for financial and professional services that can help you:

  • analyze your data
  • increase response rates

Read the toolbox of the Social Mobility Commission

2. How does your business compare?

Socio-economic diversity varies across types of work in law firms of different sizes.

For example, lawyers in large firms are more likely to have professionally trained parents and to have attended a fee-paying school.