In the UK’s legal industry, the importance of diversity is steadily gaining traction. Acknowledging its pivotal role in fostering innovation, enhancing workplace culture, and promoting diverse perspectives, law students, lawyers, and firm management increasingly value creating diverse working environments. This article explores the 2024 rankings of the leading UK law firms for diversity, compiled by Vault Law from the Annual Associate Survey conducted between January and March 2023.


The measurement of diversity is a multifaceted process, often conducted through surveys that assess various dimensions of inclusivity within law firms. Firms employ a range of methodologies to gauge the representation and experiences of individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Surveys commonly delve into aspects such as ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomic background, often based on interviews and forms by law associates. These assessments not only quantify the demographic composition of legal workplaces but also probe the inclusivity of organisational cultures, policies, and practices

What is the Vault Law Survey?

Vault website is a platform that provides career-related information, guidance, and rankings for various industries, including law. Vault is known for its annual rankings of the most prestigious law firms, which are based on surveys and assessments from industry professionals. 

Annually, Vault extends invitations to qualifying law firms to partake in the Law Survey. This survey serves as the foundation for Vault’s national ranking, which evaluates the prestige of law firms through assessments provided by lawyers from peer firms. In the year 2023, over 20,000 associates contributed their opinions on the reputations of firms, excluding their own.The 2024 Rankings are a product of Vault’s Annual Associate Survey, conducted from January to March 2023.

The diversity rankings in the survey are grounded in assessments provided by each firm’s associates, evaluating the firm’s efforts in establishing, sustaining, and promoting a diverse workforce. These rankings encompass distinct categories, addressing racial and ethnic diversity, as well as diversity concerning women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and individuals with disabilities.

In determining the Overall Best Law Firms for Diversity, the formula assigns equal weight to the four categories, resulting in a comprehensive diversity ranking.

Understanding Dimensions of Diversity

Before exploring the rankings, it’s crucial to comprehend the various dimensions of diversity. Law firms are evaluated across multiple measures, reflecting the diverse needs and experiences of their employees.

The 2024 rankings include assessments of Diversity for Individuals with Disabilities, Diversity for LGBTQ+ Individuals, Diversity for Women, and Racial & Ethnic Diversity.

Diversity for Individuals with Disabilities

Diversity for individuals with disabilities in the legal sector involves creating an inclusive environment that accommodates and supports individuals with diverse abilities. An example of how firms implement diversity for individuals with disabilities includes adopting accessible workplace practices and providing reasonable accommodations.

Firms that excel in this category prioritise inclusivity and accommodation for individuals with disabilities. The 2024 leader in this category is Clifford Chance LLP, known for its global presence and commitment to supporting diverse talents, including those with disabilities.

Diversity for LGBTQ+ Individuals

Diversity for individuals with LGBTQ+ identities in the legal sector involves fostering an inclusive and supportive environment that recognises and values diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. An example of how firms implement diversity for LGBTQ+ individuals includes the establishment of affinity groups and inclusive policies.

This category is focused on assessing the inclusivity and support provided to the LGBTQ+ community within law firms. Clifford Chance LLP again claims the top spot, showcasing its dedication to fostering a welcoming culture for individuals of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.

Diversity for Women

Diversity for women in the legal sector involves actively promoting gender equality and creating opportunities for women to thrive within the profession. An example of how firms implement diversity for women includes initiatives such as mentorship programs, leadership development, and flexible work policies.

This category recognises firms that actively promote gender diversity and equality. Clifford Chance LLP emerges as a leader, emphasising its commitment to creating opportunities for women within the legal profession.

Racial & Ethnic Diversity

Racial and ethnic diversity in the legal sector involves promoting inclusivity and representation of individuals from various racial and ethnic backgrounds within law firms. An example of how firms implement racial and ethnic diversity includes the establishment of diversity recruitment initiatives and mentorship programs.

This category evaluates the efforts of law firms in promoting diversity across racial and ethnic lines. O’Melveny & Myers LLP demonstrated its commitment to racial and ethnic diversity, securing the top position in this category.


Find the Right Firm for You

Discover more about the firms you are interested in and their opportunities

LAW FIRM Directory

Top Law Firms for Overall Diversity in 2024

The following law firms have been recognised for their outstanding efforts in promoting diversity across various dimensions:

As a global force known for its international aspirations, Clifford Chance LLP embraces diversity at its core. The firm places a strong emphasis on supporting pro bono initiatives, creating an inclusive workplace, and fostering a culture of collaboration. This Magic Circle firm is committed to providing a diverse and supportive environment for its legal professionals.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP, a stalwart among V30 firms, stands out for its prioritisation of associate development and commitment to diversity, pro bono, and employee wellness. The firm has established itself as a leader in fostering an inclusive atmosphere, ensuring that diversity is not only acknowledged but actively promoted in all aspects of its operations.

With a vast worldwide reach and a focus on labour and employment work, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is recognised for its commitment to pro bono service and maintaining a transparent, non-hierarchical culture. The firm actively promotes diversity and inclusion, ensuring that its legal professionals feel empowered and supported in their careers.

Rooted in Midwest culture, BakerHostetler combines professionalism with warmth, offering strong mentorship and a commitment to innovation. The firm’s dedication to diversity is reflected in its inclusive practices, making it a standout choice for legal professionals seeking a supportive and diverse workplace.

Positioned as an innovation-driven firm, Orrick combines a dedication to pro bono and diversity with a collaborative and forward-thinking approach. The firm’s commitment to fostering diversity extends beyond policies, creating an environment where legal professionals can thrive and contribute to cutting-edge legal solutions. Orrick is at the forefront of creating a dynamic and inclusive legal culture.

Notable Rankings and Surveys

In addition to the Vault National Rankings various other rankings and surveys provide valuable insights into law firms and their practices:

  • Europe’s Diversity Leaders 2023 is a prestigious ranking derived from an online survey encompassing over 100,000 employees across 16 European countries. The collaboration between Europe’s 850 Diversity Leaders and the Financial Times, conducted by Statista in its 4th edition, highlights organisations excelling in diversity. Notable law firms on the list include Clifford Chance, Grant Thornton, Linklaters, WSP, Eversheds Sutherland, Allen & Overy, and Irwin Mitchell. The recognition reflects their commitment to fostering inclusive workplaces across Europe.
  • The Times has spotlighted law firms excelling in inclusivity, acknowledging their commitment to diversity and equality in 2023: 
    • Addleshaw Goddard: Drives gender equality initiatives through Inclusion Partners, resulting in a seven-year increase of women in partner roles from 20% to 28%. Consistently featured in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women list.
    • Burges Salmon: Implemented a firm-wide Gender Action Plan in 2020, actively driven by senior leadership to ensure a clear path to senior roles and pay equality. Consistently recognised in The Times’ prestigious list.
    • CMS: Senior Partner Penelope Warne advocates for diversity and inclusion (D&I), fostering positive change internally and externally. Contributes to transformative initiatives in the legal sector and the wider business community.
    • Eversheds Sutherland: Integrates diversity and inclusion into its strategic vision, cultivating a culture that encourages professional growth and values differences. Networks and affinity groups cover various aspects of diversity.
    • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer: Launched ambitious five-year global commitments to diversity and inclusion in 2021, emphasising action and progress. Targets include 40% women and 40% men as new partners, with 20% men, women, or non-binary.
    • DWF: Implemented key initiatives, including a menopause support policy and upgraded family-friendly policies. Rolled out enhanced parental leave and other benefits in the past year.
    • Linklaters: A global law firm with comprehensive gender diversity priorities at every career level. Focuses on creating a balanced pipeline of female talent, providing development opportunities. Acknowledged by The Times for commitment to equality, promoting an environment supporting work-life balance.
  • Legal500 highlighted the top law firms in Future Lawyers’ diversity and inclusion rankings for 2023. Trainee solicitors across the UK rank their firms in 12 categories, with inclusiveness being a key focus: 
    • Cooley stands out for its inclusive and collegiate culture, fostering a comfortable environment for learning. 
    • Vinson & Elkins impresses with the friendly nature and approachability of its staff, creating a collegiate atmosphere. 
    • Crown Prosecution Service is praised for providing a wonderful training environment compared to a commercial law firm. 
    • Mills & Reeve earns recognition for its forward-thinking and inclusive culture.
    • Osborne Clarke, with offices in London, Bristol, and Reading, values equality, sustainability, and people. 
    • TLT is chosen for its inclusive culture, and Latham & Watkins is lauded for its diverse and inclusive environment. 
    • Stephenson Harwood’s inclusive atmosphere boosts morale, and Dechert provides a positive, open, relaxed, and inclusive learning environment. Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner genuinely fosters diversity and inclusion. 
    • At Burges Salmon, everyone, regardless of role or seniority, contributes to a collaborative and friendly atmosphere. 
    • Leathes Prior shines for its workplace culture, making it easy for individuals to feel relaxed and comfortable being themselves
  • In the Chambers Associate rankings for 2023, law firms are categorised based on their performance in diversity, equity, and inclusion. The elite category includes firms such as Clifford Chance, Dechert, Duane Morris, Finnegan, Latham & Watkins, Linklaters, McDermott, Morrison & Foerster, Orrick, and White & Case. Excellent performers encompass Adam Leitman Bailey, Arnold & Porter, Ashurst, Brown Rudnick, Gibson, Dunn, Goodwin, Haynes and Boone, Jackson Walker, Jenner & Block, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Perkins Coie, Ropes & Gray, Wiley Rein, Wilson Sonsini, and Winston & Strawn.


The increasing significance of diversity is evident across UK law firms, acknowledged for fostering innovation, improving workplace culture, and embracing diverse perspectives. The rankings underscore how these top firms establish benchmarks for a more inclusive legal future. They lead in creating environments that celebrate differences, empowering legal professionals from all walks of life. As the legal profession continues embracing diversity, these firms inspire positive change, setting new standards for the industry’s future.


Loading More Content