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Inclusive practices: Why law firm diversity is key to client retention

Law firms that fail to prioritise diversity and inclusion will struggle to win repeat work from corporate clients, warns Funke Abimbola

20 August 2015

"Law is the least diverse profession in the nation," professor Deborah L Rhode wrote recently.1 This was a reflection on the US legal profession, but my own experience of being a black female solicitor who has worked in private practice and now heads a UK in-house
legal team confirms it.

There is a stark diversity contrast between private practice and industry. I will never forget the first time I walked through the doors of my current employer's offices. Immediately struck by the ethnic diversity of my colleagues, within weeks of starting my role I was told that there were more than 50 nationalities represented at the site. Gender diversity is also reflected across the site and, currently, all of the lawyers in my
team are female.

Across England and Wales, there are a significantly greater proportion of women solicitors working in-house compa...

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