Now you’re out, let us help you get in’ – Divercity 2011

On 1 December 2011 Pinsent Masons and five other City law firms held the first joint-firm LGBT graduate recruitment event.  Coinciding with World AIDS day, DiversCity consisted of an afternoon of seminars and networking opportunities for LGBT students interested in pursuing a career as a commercial lawyer.  The event, which was advertised to students across the UK, took place at BLP’s London offices and was attended by students from 15 different universities studying a wide-range of subjects.

The agenda for the day included a number of different elements: talks from senior lawyers, the Law Society and Stonewall in addition to a number of smaller interactive break-out sessions.  The content was varied and addressed subjects such as: why employing a diverse workforce is important to City firms; what it is like to be an openly gay lawyer; LGBT life in London; and an application advice workshop.  The evening finished with some drinks and plenty of networking before everyone headed home.

The student feedback on the event has been very encouraging and a number of further suggestions were made that will help us improve the event further.  One student commented:

“I find it commendable that such an event was created in the first place.  I am very appreciative that there has been an effort made to reach out to the LGBT community in terms of graduate recruitment. I liked the fact that I was able to speak to out, successful City lawyers, as well as meet my LGBT peers from other universities throughout the UK. Furthermore, the opportunity to discuss the issues the event was targeting such as, life as an LGBTQ City lawyer, the recruitment process, the representation of the community by the firms, etc. was truly rewarding.”

The next step will of course be to see how many of the students attending the event apply for a vacation placement or training contract but we are confident that many will apply now that they have seen first-and that the City is a far more welcoming environment to candidates from all backgrounds than was the case in the past.  We are also already planning a similar event for 2012 and if you would be interested in finding out more keep an eye on our website towards the start of the next academic year.