Bridge Group Research

We participated in research commissioned by social equality consultancy The Bridge Group, alongside seven other leading law firms in a study exploring the relationship between socio-economic background and early career progression and retention. Findings indicated that early career solicitors from relatively lower socio-economic backgrounds were more likely to be top performers, but were less likely to progress and more likely to leave.

Looking to the other end of the pipeline and building on these findings, part two of the research explored the link between socio-economic background and promotion to partner, finding that those from lower socio-economic backgrounds take on average a year and a half longer to make partner than their more advantaged peers.

We were a founding member of the PRIME commitment, designed to widen access to the legal industry by providing work experience to students, and continue to partner with a number of organisations across a range of programmes to achieve this. However, this research highlighted that it’s not only a case of getting in but also getting on, and there was the need to focus internally on the retention, progression and inclusion of those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Key recommendations from the research included socializing it within organisations, especially at senior leadership level, and opening up conversations around social background and it’s relationship to culture.

We appointed Christopher Hutton as our Social Mobility Partner Sponsor, and created a Social Mobility Working Group to identify practical steps to raise the profile of socio-economic diversity within the firm, potential barriers to those from lower socio-economic backgrounds at all stages of their career and practical steps to overcome them.

Find out more about this research by accessing full reports below

Socio-economic Background and Early Career Progression in the Law

Progression to partnership: challenging the myth of meritocracy

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