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Rapid response to solicitors' survey

14 June 2013 | tagged News release

Over 2,000 solicitors and trainees have already responded to the Law Society of Scotland's 2013 Profile of the Profession research.

The equality and diversity consultation will quantify how the profession is changing and will also collect information on current working patterns.

Neil Stevenson, Director of Representation and Professional Support at the Law Society, said:

"We have had an excellent response rate so far - around 2,000 in under a fortnight. Previous equality research projects have generated fantastic responses rates, with over 3,000 in 2009, and we are on track for an equally good response this year which is great. It's vital that we get as many responses as possible as the results allow us to tailor our work at the Law Society to ensure we meet the needs of the profession now and in the future, particularly as legal services is changing so rapidly.

"It also means that we, as their professional body, provide the right kind of support on particular issues and the survey asks solicitors for their views on and experiences of a range of equality related issues. Previous equality research led to work to combat bullying, a challenge to improve equal pay, and changes to policy for those entering the profession."

The results from previous research put paid to the myth that the legal profession is an old boys' network as almost half the profession is now women, and in 2009 only around 6% of respondents reported that either parent worked in the legal sector.

Stevenson added: "This year survey, which just takes about ten minutes to complete, includes questions about people's work patterns. In 2009, 64% of respondents worked more than 41 hours a week, but the Society is keen to find out if increasing use of technology and demands for a better work/life balance is having an impact on the working lives of solicitors."

The survey is being carried out by independent researchers MVA Consultancy, who will provide a statistical summary and anonymised report to the Law Society in the autumn.

For more information, see the Law Society website

ENDS

Notes to editor:

Key findings from past research include:

  • 52% of women but only 11% of men in private practice view motherhood as a likely barrier to becoming a partner
  • 70.1% of female equity partners, and 65.3% of female salaried partners have taken no career breaks
  • LGBT solicitors are more likely to suffer harassment at work than solicitors from an ethnic minority background
  • Asian & British Asian solicitors often said in focus groups that parents would have preferred them to do medicine
  • your chances of being bullied are the same whether your boss is male or female
  • a key issue for those working part-time is being left out of communications
  • American legal TV dramas continue to be cited as a top ten reason for choosing a career in law

For more facts and figures on the legal profession, follow Neil Stevenson on Twitter @StevensonLaw

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Val McEwan on 0131 226 884 or valeriemcewan@lawscot.org.uk

14 June 2013

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