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Educated The Expensive Way Elitism In Legal

Educated The Expensive Way – Elitism In Legal

-               15% of lawyers are from the UK’s 250 public schools - compared to just 2% of the general population

-               Social exclusivity INCREASING in legal profession

-               Decline of grammar schools blamed

15% of lawyers now come from exclusive public schools that educate only 2% of the population according to new figures from legal recruiter Laurence Simons.

Laurence Simons analysed the profiles of 49,600 professionals working in London using the business-networking site LinkedIn. The analysis shows approximately 7,200 of those professionals have attended public schools. This makes those educated at one of the country’s 250 public schools seven times more likely to become legal professionals than those educated in the state sector.

Naveen Tuli, managing director of Laurence Simons said, “The figures paint a disturbingly regressive picture of the opportunities open to those wishing to get into law. Social exclusivity is rife in the industry. The fact that 15% of people in the sector attended one of just 250 of the nation’s most exclusive schools shows this is a real policy blind spot – a lot has been done to address the under-representation of women and ethnic minority groups and we’re at least on the way to tackling those issues. But the under-representation of those who can’t afford a silver-plated education is getting worse, not better.”


The situation is deteriorating as the legal profession becomes more elitist. While the UK’s blue-chip law firms opened up to a generation of partners educated in state secondary schools in the 1960s - predominantly in grammar schools - this has proved to be a transient change. For instance, between 1988 and 2004, the proportion of partners under 39 at the UK’s 5 Magic Circle firms who had been educated in private schools increased from 59% to 71%.

The increasing reliance on those educated outside the state sector has shifted the social composition of the legal profession. In 1958, just over 40% of lawyers grew up in families with an above average income. But 60% of British lawyers who were born in 1970 grew up in families with an above average income.


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