James Newton

Trainee Solicitor Clyde & Co

James Newton Junior Advisory BoardI am a non-law graduate in History from the University of Oxford and am now studying the GDL and LPC in London. Although very much at the beginning of my career, my work experience to-date has included the legal department at MTV, an insight week with Barclays, a handful of mini-pupillages, and a number of City-based vacation schemes. I joined Clyde & Co as a trainee solicitor in August 2017. Diversity is important to me because I believe passionately in a more meritocratic world. As law is so closely linked to our cultural values and the way we conduct ourselves socially, it is hugely important that the profession represents both what our society is and what we want it to be.

Despite being gay and dyslexic, I have the undeniable advantage of being an Oxbridge-educated, accent-less, white man. My social camouflage means that I can, if I so choose, simply avoid the many prejudices that can act as barriers to progress. However, I firmly believe that visibility is the quickest way to acceptance and inclusion. People such as me should therefore feel proud to be open about their differences and, furthermore, are ideally placed to act as strong allies for those who cannot so easily blend in.

Aspiring Solicitors provides such a platform for visibility and I am truly privileged to be a part of it. The organisation is a constant inspiration to many aspiring lawyers and has the potential to do even more. I am therefore flattered to join the Aspiring Solicitors Advisory Board.

Looking to the future, AS needs to continue to encourage and help those aiming to join the profession. Just as importantly, I look forward to working with the advisory board on how AS can become a support and aid for those already within the profession. I am particularly excited by how the organisation might work to increase diversity, especially at the more senior levels.