Inclusion and CSR

At Macfarlanes, we are committed to the creation of a culture of fairness.

For us, a fair culture is one which respects the contributions which can be made by talented people from all backgrounds and with differing views and experiences and one which provides an inclusive and supportive working environment. We are convinced that such a culture enhances in a significant way our ability to provide a service of quality to our clients.

This culture of fairness underpins our recruitment practice and guides the firm's policies in relation to the development and retention of those who work at the firm.  Our people are our biggest asset and vital to our continued success and our objective is to widen the pool of talent from which the next generation of lawyers will be drawn.  Our clients come from a range of backgrounds and cultures and it is important our people do too.

Initiatives

As part of our commitment to diversity and to enable us to widen the pool of talent we access our future trainees from we have partnered with a number of programmes.  These include:  

 

Aspiring solicitors

We have recently partnered with Aspiring Solicitors to enable us to reach students from a variety of backgrounds across a wide spread of universities. Aspiring Solicitors aims to increase diversity in the legal profession and educates and informs the next generation of the legal profession about the importance of diversity. We have people across the firm working with Aspiring Solicitors through their Professional Ambassador scheme, Springboard events and tailored Macfarlanes events for Aspiring Solicitors members.

MyPlus Students’ Club

We work with MyPlus Students’ Club in our bid to do more to attract, recruit and develop talented people who have a disability. MyPlus Students’ Club provides useful and practical advice for students and graduates with a disability or long-term health condition.

Pathways to Law

Our relationship with Pathways to Law allows us to offer work experience to students from under-represented backgrounds. Pathways is an innovative widening participation initiative to provide opportunities for students from state schools in England who are interested in a career in law and will be first generation attendees at university. Established by The Sutton Trust, the programme targets students from under-represented backgrounds and provides support throughout years 12 and 13, and beyond into university.

Sarah-Louise Fernandez

Solicitor, Litigation

"One of the most beneficial things I did was to participate in the Pathways to Law programme during sixth form."

Read Sarah-Louise's profile

PRIME

We are signatories to PRIME commitment, a commitment by the legal profession to provide fair access to high quality work experience to students from less privileged backgrounds. As a PRIME member we are actively trying to ensure that anyone who wants to enter the world of law has an equal chance to do so, regardless of their background.

Rare Recruitment

We have worked with Rare Recruitment for several years as part of our ongoing commitment to diversity. Rare provide access, training and mentoring for outstanding students from black and other ethnic minority communities and their mission is to help the best employers in the world build workforces that reflect society’s diversity. Our partnership allows us to attract and recruit the best people from every background.

Benson Egwuonwu

Trainee Solicitor

"I first discovered Rare during my first year of university. I was inspired by Rare’s people, their ethos and their dedicated work in mentoring talented ethnic minority students who seek to achieve a career in law."

Read Benson's profile

City Solicitors Horizon

City Solicitors Horizons improves access to the legal profession for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The initiative allows students to take part in a three year programme whilst undertaking their undergraduate degree. Students benefit from training sessions, mentoring and work experience. We are pleased to provide mentoring support and the opportunity for students to visit Macfarlanes and learn more about City law.

Recruitment

In addition to our partnerships we have adapted our recruitment processes to ensure that we recruit the best candidates regardless of their background. 

CV Blind

We were one of the first law firms to ensure that the vast majority of our assessment processes for both our vacation schemes and training contracts are scored CV blind.  This means that, aside from parts of the process which require a review of your CV, such as the CV interview itself, you will be assessed by people who must judge your candidacy based on your actual performance on the day, which we believe promotes greater fairness.

Contextualised Recruitment System

We adopted Rare’s contextual recruitment tool to understand each applicant’s achievement in the context in which they have been gained.  We understand that not every candidate’s achievements look the same on paper and we want to recruit the best people, from every background.  This helps to promote meritocracy and diversity in our candidate selection process.  

 

Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR is a fundamental part of our firm’s culture and integral to our belief that every person should have access to justice. We believe in our wider responsibilities to the communities in which we live and work and also to the environment around us. We strongly encourage all members of staff to support our various initiatives throughout the year. To find out more, visit our Corporate Social Responsibility page.