Clifford Chance Fights Bias Caused by Oxbridge Hiring

20th January 2014

We came across an interesting article from London loves Business recently, which looked at how one Golden Circle law firm is utilising a fairer recruitment system to avoid bias and improve the way in which they recruit. Below, we have summarised accordingly.

The law firm, Clifford Chance has subtly brought in a recruitment system that focuses on giving individuals an equal chance of admittance by avoiding unnecessary bias towards those from Oxbridge or the UK’s most exclusive schools.

Within just a year the system has caused a significant increase in the number of educational establishments that were represented by the influx of individuals. Out of the 100 new recruits that were accepted through the new system, 41 of the individuals originated from different educational establishments – this indicates an increase of approximately 30% when compared to the previous year and the original scheme.

The Independent has stated that Clifford Chance made these adjustments after a study identified that attending Eton or Oxbridge was crucial in order to acquire some of the most prestigious roles within the UK, from the diplomatic services and medicine through to acting and various other performing arts.

The amendments that Clifford Chance have made incorporate changes such as judging candidates based upon extracurricular activities such as work experience, work placements and periods of volunteer work.

To reinforce these changes, approximately 50% of the firm’s summer vacation placements will be retained for those who have been chosen through the company’s “intelligent aid” campaign; this is a scheme that involves applicants writing a 250-500 word essay on a topic that is of significant importance to the company. The individual is also required to create a presentation on this topic. is an online recruitment agency first pioneered low cost recruitment.