Law has been singled out as one of the professions doing the most to improve social mobility, according to the first update by the government's Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.
The State of the Nation 2013: social mobility and child poverty in Great Britain report praises the legal sector for taking steps to improve access to the profession.
‘Lawyers continue to seek to raise the profile of the profession through a wide range of activities with children who may not otherwise have access to the profession,’ it says.
The legal profession’s PRIME work experience programme remains a benchmark access programme for other professions, with medicine and accountancy now considering introducing similar schemes, it says.
Law firms, along with the civil service, are among the small number of employers are using ‘university blind’ applications and bias-awareness training, it adds.
Qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives are also providing flexible entry routes into the profession for those who have not gone to university.
However, social class remains the biggest barrier in getting a top job across all professions. ‘Senior professionals are still more likely to be privately schooled and privileged men,’ it says.
Labour former MP Alan Milburn (pictured), the commission's chair, said: ‘It is part of Britain’s DNA that everyone should have a fair chance in life. Yet compared to many other developed nations we have high levels of child poverty and low levels of social mobility.’