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This BigLaw firm’s ‘CV blind’ policy aims to tamp down university bias

Posted Jan 10, 2014 8:08 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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British-based law firm Clifford Chance has introduced a “CV blind” policy that hides candidates’ university information from those who are doing final interviews.

The aim is to eliminate bias in favor of Oxford, Cambridge and other leading schools, the Independent reported in an exclusive story. Legal Week followed up with its own story on the program.

Clifford Chance adopted the policy last year, leading to a 28 percent increase in the number of institutions from which it drew trainees.

A senior employee who spoke to the Independent described the program this way: “We’re looking for the gems and they’re not all in the jeweler’s shop.”

The law firm is also expanding its recruiting reach by reserving half the spots in its vacation programs to students who come through an “Intelligent Aid” competition that involves writing an essay and doing a presentation on it, the Independent says. Legal Week, however, says a third of the vacation spots are held by Intelligent Aid winners.

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