Unconscious bias—law firms
Produced in partnership with Rachel Brushfield of EnergiseLegal
Unconscious bias—law firms

The following Practice Management practice note Produced in partnership with Rachel Brushfield of EnergiseLegal provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Unconscious bias—law firms
  • What is unconscious bias?
  • Types of unconscious bias
  • How does unconscious bias appear?
  • The impact of unconscious bias
  • Addressing unconscious bias

This Practice Note provides information for law firms about unconscious bias, including what it is, how it can impact diversity and inclusion (D&I) and how it can be addressed.

Further information about different aspects of D&I can be found in the following Practice Notes:

  1. What is diversity and inclusion (D&I)—law firms

  2. The growing focus on diversity and inclusion (D&I) in law firms

  3. Collecting and monitoring diversity and inclusion (D&I) data—law firms

  4. Attracting diverse talent—law firms

  5. Retaining diverse talent—law firms

What is unconscious bias?

Unconscious bias can be defined as 'our implicit people preferences, formed by our socialisation, our experiences, and by our exposure to others’ views about other groups of people'.

Bias will influence a person’s judgement, behaviour and perceptions. Every person has a unique set of life experiences from which they form their values, eg what is important to them in life, work and their beliefs. This means every individual has a unique perspective of what, to them, is familiar, and hence comfortable and safe. As a result, everything else outside their perspective is different, unfamiliar, and potentially more uncomfortable to engage with. For many of us, it is a natural instinct to be drawn towards people just like ourselves.

A person's view of the world is shaped from a young age by the key influencers in their childhood, eg their parents, teachers, siblings, guardians and friends. Background

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