STORIES of women being underrepresented in the legal profession are commonplace. But spare a thought for Scottish law graduate, Andrew McSorley, who claims he was refused a job because he is a 37 year-old man.
McSorley is angry that British law firms have a “fixation” with employing freshly qualified graduates, particularly females, rather than older people with more experience, reports Deadline.
In Australia, nearly 70 per cent of law graduates are female, which has resulted in a higher number of female practitioners in the legal sphere.
However, women graduates generally earn less than their male counterparts here, and represent a far smaller percentage at senior levels and the bar.
McSorley is taking three firms to court for discrimination, starting with Edinburgh commercial legal firm Tods Murray LLP.
McSorley claims that when he applied to the firm last year, the firm took three separate letters to give a good reason as to why he shouldn’t get the job.
McSorley said: “I found out that the oldest applicant they took on was 26, which was 10 years younger than I was at the time.
“My formal submission is that the only reason I was rejected was because I was 36 years of age.
“I’m in an age-group that is statistically far less likely to possess a 2:1 degree, but I am now adequately qualified and have great previous experience.
“But having never been offered an interview in two years of applying, I reached the end of my tether.
He added: “I was concerned that there was a fixation with having an honours degree, so I canvassed a number of other law firms and got confirmation that I have a qualification equal to the honours degree.”
Tods Murray lawyers insist they turned his application down because he did not have a 2:1 degree, an upper second-class honours.
But having secured a Bachelor of Laws diploma via a fast-track course, McSorley, is adamant he is as qualified as any degree-holding graduate.
Tods Murray’s legal representative, Chris Leitch, said: “Our website clearly states: Please note that you are required to have a minimum degree classification of a 2:1 in order to apply. This statement was there for all applicants to read.”
McSorley faces a two-week wait to find out whether employment judge, Victor Craig, will agree to hear his case in full.