According to a recent judgment that will be of great help to Indian law students in getting opportunities for internships in UK law firms, an employment tribunal in the country said that the refusal of law firms based in the UK to even think about non-European Economic Area applicants is clearly an example of indirect racial discrimination.
The Employment Appellate Tribunal was in context of a case that was filed by an Indian student, Ashokvardhan Purohit, who claimed that Osborne Clarke Services has shown discriminatory attitude towards him. He said that Osborne Clarke Services, which is one of the Top-30 law firms in the UK, has automatically rejected his application filed for the purpose of solicitor training just because of his nationality.
As per the Law Society Gazette, which is published by the Law Society of England and Wales, there are many other large UK firms that follow the same route by banning approaching trainees from outside the EEA.
EEA comprises of countries of European Union including Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland.
Purohit, who pursued from the University of Mumbai acquiring a first class degree and went to the UK to pursue his masters degree in banking and finance, said the tribunal gives opportunity to hopeful young students and professionals from all over the world to apply and then be considered based on merit for jobs that are advertised.
In June 2007, Purohit applied online for a trainee solicitor contract but was told later that he was unable to meet the entry requirements.