NATIONAL law firm TLT has announced a new ethnic diversity target designed to eliminate barriers to entry into the legal profession for aspiring ethnic minority lawyers and to improve diversity.
This Black History Month 2023, the firm has set a target of 35% ethnic minority representation across its early career roles (trainees and apprentices) to be achieved by October 2030 – driving an increase in ethnic minority representation in its early careers roles from one in five to one in three.
The new target forms part of our apprenticeship strategy, which aims to open the legal sector to different backgrounds and offer future talent an alternative pathway other than to university. With our innovative legal apprenticeships, TLT offers both a Legal Solicitor Apprenticeship, aimed at ambitious and motivated employees, school leavers or career changers and a Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship, aimed at internal applicants who have a degree.
These fresh ambitions are being spearheaded by a number of early careers initiatives, including a recent investment to grow TLT’s early careers team, ensuring the firm has the internal resource to deliver its plans; and an ongoing commitment to our partnerships with Rare, Bright Network, Aspiring Solicitors and Social Mobility Business Partnership (SMBP).
Alongside the design of a bespoke Solicitor Qualification Exam (SQE) preparation programme, launched in partnership with BPP University Law School in 2022, TLT has designed a new virtual work experience programme for school leavers launching in the autumn, to ensure access is widened to a larger demographic and audience.
TLT’s commitment to increasing ethnic minority representation was developed as a supporting long-term action plan to help close its ethnicity pay gap and is supported by further measures throughout the employee lifecycle, which will focus on promotion and attrition.
Progress against these targets and comprehensive measures will be shared with the firm’s ethnic diversity network – one of TLT’s core affinity networks, which empowers and supports ethnically diverse colleagues to educate others on the challenges faced by ethnically diverse individuals, informs policy and approach and enables TLT to grow and maintain a representative and equitable workforce.
The new early career goals will be supported by robust investment from the firm both in terms of resource, finance and targeted initiatives, all of which are key to delivery. These will include the creation of new advisory roles and additional senior and strategic roles within the business, and a new outreach programme aimed at schools and relevant partnerships.
Kanika Kitchlu-Connolly, partner at TLT and sponsor of the firm’s ethnic diversity network commented: “I am really pleased to see the firm take this initial step towards increasing diversity throughout our business and committing to ensuring we have the resource to get us there.”
John Wood, managing partner at TLT said: “We have a responsibility as an organisation to look at how we can open up the legal sector and give people from different backgrounds the opportunity to consider a career in law. We are committed to improving diversity at TLT by investing in our early careers, doubling our efforts to raise awareness amongst young people of the career opportunities in law and to continue to create an inclusive working environment. There is still a long way to go, however I am confident that we are one step ahead and are paving the way to diversifying the legal sector.”