Law firm Browne Jacobson has been ranked as the UK’s leading employer in the Social Mobility Foundation’s Employer Index 2021, which examines how companies and organisations are driving social mobility within their workplace.
The Ministry of Justice and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities were the highest Government departments to be ranked, at 11th and 16th respectively. The City of London Corporation came 40th in the index.
Since 2016, Browne Jacobson has implemented a series of initiatives including revolutionising its trainee recruitment processes by removing academic barriers, anonymising applications and focusing its outreach work on social mobility ‘cold spots’.
In 2021, the firm launched FAIRE (Fairer Access into Real Experience), which offers work experience opportunities to candidates specifically from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
This is the first time that any law firm has topped the rankings in the history of the Index, which reviewed more than 200 employers.
Caroline Green, Senior Partner at Browne Jacobson, who leads on diversity, inclusion and well-being at the firm, said: “I am unbelievably proud of all our people whose passion and determination to advance social mobility in the legal profession has resulted in our first place ranking in the Index. This means a great deal to us all.
“Employers large and small have a huge role in creating a fairer society and delivering the levelling up agenda. The last 18 months has been difficult for so many young people and we are delighted that the steps we have taken and our ground-breaking FAIRE initiative, in particular, have opened up the legal profession to some of those most disadvantaged by the pandemic; we have been able to demonstrate just how much can be achieved if the will and determination is there.
“For us, the journey does not stop here. There is always more we can do and our commitment to improving social mobility within our firm, the wider legal profession and amongst the communities and clients we serve is stronger than ever.”