14 firms rank in UK's social mobility index

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Law firms have figured prominently in the UK’s “Social Mobility Employer Index 2018.”

Fourteen in the top 50 of the Social Mobility Foundation-led yearly roundup are law firms. They are led by newly merged firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP), which placed fourth.

In the broader legal community, the UK’s Ministry of Justice ranked third, while The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple was 24th.

Following BCLP is Baker McKenzie with a 10th-place finish. Not far behind is Linklaters at 11th, Herbert Smith Freehills at 15th, and Freeths at 19th.

The other law firms named in the index are Clifford Chance (22nd), Eversheds Sutherland (23rd), Hogan Lovells (36th), DLA Piper (38th), Pinsent Masons (41st), HFW (44th), Slaughter and May (45th), and Mayer Brown International (47th).

“There is a mood for change in the nation. As the index shows, social mobility is becoming a cause for more and more of our country’s top employers. It is welcome that they are stepping up to the plate,” said the Rt Hon Alan Milburn, former chair of the Social Mobility Commission. “They are making these changes both because they see the social need to do so and because they recognise the business benefit that greater diversity can bring.”

The index is creating real momentum in a society that needs employers to act to improve the UK’s social mobility record, said Catherine McGuinness, policy chairman at the City of London Corporation.

“Many leading businesses are showing real ambition in their approach to tackling the UK’s social mobility problem and it is important that firms continue to prioritise this area to help remove the barriers holding back the best and brightest in our society,” McGuinness said.

“Giving young people experience of the work environment and helping them gain skills can boost their career prospects and open up a wide pool of talent for businesses. Everyone has the right to a good career regardless of background, and we must remove hurdles for young people who have the talent, but may lack the network of guidance, support and connections to get ahead. They are the future workforce which will make sure that the UK prospers in the long term,” she said.


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