Majority of students also support steps to break recruitment biases through blind CVs
Two-thirds of law students support recruiters’ rights to track their online activity as part of their pre-employment checks into a candidate’s background, a new survey by The University of Law (ULaw) has revealed.
The survey*, which was undertaken among ULaw students to gather their views on career aspirations and the legal profession found that 64% of students believed their employers should have the right to check their online profiles, with 68% of BPTC students and 61% of LPC students endorsing the approach.
Recent radical moves by major law firms to shake up recruitment biases were also supported by the students. More than three quarters (77%) of respondents agree with the CV-blind policy - whereby the recruiters are not given information about which university candidates attended, or whether they come from state or independent schools. However, those that disagreed felt that this discriminated against students who had attended a good educational institution and also had broader experience, for example, from work in other professions.
The survey also revealed expectations about what was required to obtain a good position. More than three quarters (78%) of students stated that they had already gained some work experience, and 31% having carried out legal internships. BPTC students were most likely to have undertaken legal work experience (97%), followed by LPC (89%) and GDL (70%) students.
Almost three quarters of respondents (75%) had already undertaken some charity/volunteering work to enhance their experience and CV. Prospective barristers made up the highest proportion with 83% having done charity/ volunteering work, compared to prospective solicitors at 74%.
As part of the survey, students were also asked to share their opinion on topical and recent industry issues as well, such as the forthcoming European Union referendum. The vast majority of students thought that the UK should remain a member of the European Union, with all prospective barristers and 91% of prospective solicitors agreeing.
The most admired person in the legal profession is Brenda Hale (Baroness Hale of Richmond), followed by Lord Denning (Alfred Denning, Baron Denning) and Amal Clooney (née Alamuddin).
The fictional law character that students most aspire to is Harvey Specter from Suits Harvey followed by Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, with Martha Costello from Silk the highest placed female character in third place.
*ULaw survey was carried out in October 2015 among 513 students newly enrolled on its LL.B, GDL, LPC and BPTC courses.
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