Law firm Clifford Chance adopts 'CV blind' recruitment policy to fight Oxbridge hiring bias

Golden Circle law firm Clifford Chance has quietly introduced a more egalitarian recruitment initiative that attempts to prevent any bias towards Oxbridge or the UK’s elite private schools.

The law firm has begun a ‘CV blind’ policy for final interviews with potential recruits. Interviewing staff are not privy to any information about a candidate’s background or education.

In its first year of operation, the scheme has seen a major increase in the number of educational institutions represented in its intake. Of 100 recruits taken on under the new rules, 41 different educational institutions were represented - a rise of almost 30% on the previous year, which operated under the old system.

According to the Independent, Clifford Chance made the changes after a study showed that studying Eton and Oxbridge was still essential to obtain a range of top roles in the UK, from the judiciary and the diplomatic service, to acting.

Clifford Chance’s changes also include scoring candidates on activities such as work experience and job-related work placements.

In addition, 50% of the places on the firm’s summer vacation placements are reserved for applicants who come through the company’s “intelligent aid” scheme, in which candidates write a 250-500 word essay on a subject important to the company, and prepare a presentation on it.

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