DLA Piper has revealed it has been ranked 17th in the Social Mobility Foundation’s Social Mobility Employer Index 2021.
Now in its fifth year, the index ranks and benchmarks firms across Britain, providing a “solid foundation” to progress organisations towards achieving their social mobility goals.
Despite the ongoing uncertainties and pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, DLA Piper said it ranked in the top 10% of all organisations in several areas, including working with young people, data collection, and advocacy and accountability.
The firm said it was noted that, throughout the pandemic, the firm didn’t reduce or cancel any of its planned initiatives, instead “significantly increasing” its employability activity with schools and universities to support students in bridging the gap between education and the workplace.
DLA Piper’s outreach work was also highlighted for targeting communities in which it works and focusing on social mobility cold spots. The firm’s work on Head Start, PRIME and the Social Mobility Business Partnership were “highly commended”, where DLA Piper uses its position to advocate for social mobility and encourage its clients to take action.
The firm was also commended for not having minimum academic entry criteria and for introducing an internally designed strengths-based recruitment approach which assesses for future potential not past performance. The introduction of a solicitor apprenticeship and paralegal apprenticeship in 2021 further supports the firm’s commitment to broadening access and levelling the playing field.
In the area of advocacy, the index highlighted that the firm “takes a leadership role” in the legal sector by questioning suppliers about their approach to social mobility and building joint initiatives with other organisations.
DLA Piper’s outreach work was also highlighted for targeting communities in which it works and focusing on social mobility cold spots, as well as having a very high completion rate for its socioeconomic background data.
Simon Levine, global co-CEO at DLA Piper, said: “Being ranked so highly by such an influential and important foundation is a fantastic achievement for the firm. As part of our core values we’ve been continuously working as a firm to make positive strides to improve social mobility in our workplace and across our sector.
“There is still a long way to go, but we are very proud to have been recognised for our achievements so far and hope to continue setting ambitious goals to promote equitable outcomes in our firm and in the legal industry more broadly.”