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The strategic use of demand-side diversity pressure in the solicitors' profession

By Jo Braithwaite


There has been a long line of official initiatives seeking to address the poor record of the solicitors' profession on diversity. One of the latest, the Law Society's 2009 Diversity Charter and Protocol, attempts to harness client pressure as a way of bringing about change. The objective of the paper is to assess this strategic use of ‘demand-side diversity pressure’ in the solicitors' profession, contextualizing the strategy and using different perspectives to assess it. The paper first considers the strategy as a development of ‘business case’ arguments for diversity and explores the implications of scholarly objections to this approach. Secondly, the paper uses empirical data from the City law firm sector to explore the nature and practical effects of demand-side diversity pressures within law firms. I conclude by considering the prospects of the Law Society's scheme having a meaningful effect, factoring in the possible effects of the ongoing global economic crisis

Topics: KD England and Wales
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1467-6478.2010.00514.x
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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