In a bid to widen access to the legal sector and the firm, DLA Piper has adopted the Contextual Recruitment System (CRS) run by Rare, a diversity recruitment specialist that is helping to attract talented graduates and apprentices from disadvantaged backgrounds into the sector.
DLA joins a collection of 55 City firms and in-house teams who have been using the CRS to great effect including Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Barclays.
DLA Piper’s joint managing director, Europe and the Middle East and country managing partner, UK Sandra Wallace, who has recently been awarded seventh place in the 2018 Powerlist of the 100 most influential people of African or African-Caribbean heritage in Britain, said: “We are delighted to be working with Rare to widen access to the sector and the firm, enabling talented students from all educational and socioeconomic backgrounds to believe that working at a firm like DLA Piper is attainable.”
Rare’s CRS hardwires social mobility metrics into companies existing graduate recruitment databases. It allows firms to see, at a glance, not just the achievements of candidates, but the context in which those achievements were gained, taking into consideration several factors, including postcode, school quality, eligibility for free school meals, refugee status and time spent in care.
Inspired by big data processes, and the selection techniques used by the UK’s leading universities, which make differential offers to students based on ‘contextual data’, the CRS was based on a two-year research project conducted by Rare, and sponsored by international law firm (and founding partner of the CRS project), Clifford Chance. Rare has found that 50 per cent more disadvantaged candidates are hired when organisations adopt the CRS.
Raph Mokades, founder and managing director of Rare, said: “The business case for diversity has been made numerous times and its merits are undisputed. Employers frequently comment that Rare’s candidates are more robust than those sourced from conventional backgrounds – they can be better at handling the challenges of demanding jobs, and less likely to drop out. Candidates once seen as ‘unconventional’ often make the best hires, particularly for law firms which make large upfront investments in their trainees.”