Diversity in the legal profession is, understandably, under the spotlight like never before and we are proud to be an inclusive law firm, offering opportunities based purely on ability and potential.
Our recent intern Lily Hoang has shared some of her personal insights into this important issue in our latest blog which you can read below.
Law is undoubtedly a competitive field to get into and many BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) students struggle to find opportunities in the legal profession. For other students they are discouraged to pursue law because of the lack of diversity in the media.
Asian and Black lawyers are considerably underrepresented in mid to large size firms. As of 20 March 2020, the Solicitors Regulation Authority reveals data that shows that BAME lawyers make up 21% in England, Scotland, and Wales. In comparison to 2017, the statistics of BAME lawyers have remained at 21%.
My passion to strive for diversity within the legal profession and ambition to qualify as a solicitor someday stemmed from my personal experiences growing up in the UK.
My family had fled Vietnam as refugees. Upon migrating to the UK, my family received a lot of racial abuse and derogatory treatment. Through these discriminatory episodes, my mother gave me a British first name Lily to fit in and for future employment opportunities.
As a child, my family did not understand the system that was in place and had a lack of resources to turn to. I was depended on to translate for my family and did not understand lengthy government documentation. The responsibilities I faced as a child gave me the confidence to raise awareness on social injustice.
Despite not coming from a traditional background, I know that I have a lot to offer to the legal profession. I was fortunate that Burley Law Limited recognised the value in me by kindly offering a position for me to be a summer intern at their firm.
I believe a solution to more representation in the legal workplace is to offer valuable work experience to BAME students. The team at Burley Law Limited made me feel so welcomed and the working atmosphere has been positively motivating. I was getting hands on experience in the world of Intellectual Property, Technology and Employment.
In many ways, I am grateful for Des and Liz for believing in me and taking time out of their schedule to mentor me. They invested in my growth and encouraged me regardless of my background. The internship has broadened my network and has given me the chance to leave the hospitality industry for good so that I could dedicate my focus to my legal pathway.
In the future, I hope that there is more representation of BAME lawyers in the media and that BAME students are not discouraged to pursue a career in law. I look forward to law firms demonstrating equal consideration to all candidates’ despite of their ethnic background. Not only for the firm’s competitive advantage but for fairer recruitment process.