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Withers becomes the latest law firm to leverage social mobility technology

Will enable it to access 'a much wider pool of talented trainees,' says Jaya Louvre

4 December 2015

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International law firm Withers has adopted Rare Recruitment's contextual recruitment system (CRS) for its UK trainee intake.

Adopted by 20 top professional services firms so far, the CRS seeks to improve social mobility in the legal profession by enabling firms to recruit trainees from a broad range of backgrounds.

"Rare provides a fantastic service which allows a City law firm such as us, working in an area which has traditionally suffered from a lack of candidates from a variety of backgrounds, to access a much wider pool of talented trainees," said Jaya Louvre diversity manager at Withers.

"We are anticipating great results from applying Rare's expertise and guidance to our recruitment process and amalgamating it with our other efforts to improve the social diversity of our intake."

In May 2015, Baker & McKenzie and Hogan Lovells were the first firms to adopt the CRS, with the aim of using it from the 2015/16 graduate recruitment season. They were followed by Ashurst and Herbert Smith Freehills in June.

In September, it was confirmed that Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields, Linklaters, Macfarlanes, Norton Rose Fulbright, Slaughter and May, and Travers Smith aimed to integrate the system into their own application systems during the 2015/16 graduate recruitment season.

The CRS is the first technology and data-driven tool of its kind in the UK. It enables firms to collect standardised data on candidates' economic background and personal circumstances, and to take a consistent approach when assessing their achievements, selection process performance and hiring potential.

"The legal sector is continuing to prove its commitment to innovation and diversity by adopting the use of contextual data," commented Rare's managing director, Raphael Mokades.

The CRS will be integrated into Withers' applicant tracking system to provide contextual information on each applicant, including their schooling and grades. This process allows the firm to identify 'stand out' candidates, regardless of their individual background.

Withers works with a number of organisations aimed at improving the diversity of its legal and business support population. These include contributing to African & Caribbean Diversity's mentoring programme, PRIME and Prospects in the City's work experience scheme, training and guidance for Sponsors for Educational Opportunity's students, and LPC funding and work experience for law students on the Law Society's Diversity Access Scheme.


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