updated on 09 January 2023
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For the second year in a row, Browne Jacobson LLP has secured the top spot on the UK’s Social Mobility Index.
The Social Mobility Index is the leading authority on social mobility workplace practices across the UK, offering an annual benchmarking and assessment tool for employers.
Browne Jacobson landed the top spot ahead of several big names, including PwC, KPMG and Accenture, with law firms making up the highest number of entrants for a second consecutive year. Herbert Smith Freehills LLP was the second highest rated law firm in the index, coming in at number seven; just one place above Baker McKenzie who were followed by Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP.
Browne Jacobson, which has offices in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Exeter and Dublin, made history in 2021 as the first law firm to ever receive the top spot on the index.
For the past six years, the firm has committed itself to a series of partnerships and initiatives that open entry to the legal profession for young people from a number of diverse backgrounds, particularly those from socially disadvantaged groups and regions across the UK.
A particular initiative Browne Jacobson launched, that was praised by The Social Mobility Foundation, is its outreach work with schools. On the firm’s website it explains that in 2021-22:
“100% of the firm’s outreach was conducted at non-selective state schools and 62% of the young people who took part were eligible for free school meals;
[it] introduced a mentoring scheme specifically for aspiring young black lawyers to address the under-representation of this group across the profession;
[it] partnered with Forage, a leading global virtual platform, to launch a “free to access” work experience programme for 16–18-year-olds; and
[it] hosted its third virtual FAIRE career insight event in October 2022, attracting over 3000 participants, with more than 53% of participants taking part being Black, Asian or Minority ethnic, 77 % female and 64% from lower socio-economic backgrounds. More than 23,500 students have benefited from the FAIRE programme since inception.”
Senior Partner Caroline Green, who leads on diversity, inclusion and wellbeing at the firm said: “At Browne Jacobson, we believe in fairness and that success should not be dependent on ‘who you know’. We do not have limitless resources and our success has been achieved through a change of approach that everyone can adopt. We are delighted to share best practice to encourage other employers to level the playing field.”