‘Legally Disabled?’ conference date announced

Why are disabled people ‘unexpected’ in the legal profession? What does this mean for disabled legal professionals and for employers seeking to recruit and retain talent?

The Career Experiences of Disabled People in the Legal Profession: Future Strategies for Inclusion and Change

We will launch our research findings and recommendations on the 24th January 2020 at the British Academy in London. A future event will be based in Cardiff (date TBC).

This conference reports findings and recommendations from the ‘Legally Disabled?’ project, the first research of its kind to examine the career experiences of disabled people working in the legal profession in England and Wales.  This ground-breaking project, the outcome of a two-year partnership between disabled academics and disabled people in the legal profession, led by Cardiff University, prioritised the traditionally marginalised ‘voices’ of disabled people in order to influence meaningful change to culture and practice in the profession. 

The format of the conference will include a series of participative workshops in the afternoon aimed at harnessing the expertise of the different stakeholders attending.

Join us to explore what employers, networks, professional bodies and regulators can do to improve inclusion and opportunities for disabled people across the legal profession.

Spaces are limited, tickets must be booked. 

legallydisabled.eventbrite.co.uk

Continue reading “‘Legally Disabled?’ conference date announced”

Launch of Barristers’ questionnaire

screenshot of the questionnaire for disabled barristers

Are you a disabled person, or someone with a long-term medical condition working in, aspiring to work in (e.g. in training), or retired from the Bar? If so, this research is for you.

We are pleased to launch the next stage of the research with a questionnaire for disabled people training for or working as Barristers. This also includes those who have since left these roles in the profession.

Click here to fill in the survey for barristers.

Update: the extended deadline for responses is 23rd July 2019.

A separate questionnaire for solicitors and paralegals is also available. This is due to the different qualification routes and workplace experiences.

If it is more appropriate to fill in the questionnaire for solicitors and paralegals please click here. If you are unsure as to which is best suited for you, please contact Dr Natasha Hirst on HirstN2@cardiff.ac.uk

The purpose of the research is to produce the first large scale evidence base on the career experiences of disabled people across the legal profession. This will build on and quantify the evidence obtained from one to one interviews.

 

We anticipate that it will take approximately 20 to 25 minutes to complete the questionnaire. It can also be saved part way and finished off later. You have the option to skip questions or answer ‘not applicable’ as appropriate to you.

If you have any queries or require the questionnaire in a word document or other accessible format please get in touch with Dr Natasha Hirst on HirstN2@cardiff.ac.uk

Please note that both researchers are part-time on the project and will respond as soon as possible to any queries.

Launch of Solicitor’s Questionnaire

screenshot of the web page for the Legally Disabled questionnaire for solicitors

Are you a disabled person, or someone with a long-term medical condition working in, aspiring to work in (e.g. in training), or retired from the legal profession? If so, this research is for you.

We are pleased to launch the next stage of the research with a questionnaire for disabled people training for or working as solicitors and paralegals. This also includes those who have since left these roles in the profession.

UPDATE: The deadline for response has been extended to 7th July 2019.

The purpose of the research is to produce the first large scale evidence base on the career experiences of disabled people across the legal profession. This will build on and quantify the evidence obtained from one to one interviews.

Click here to fill in the questionnaire for solicitors and paralegals.

UPDATE: The deadline for response has been extended to 7th July 2019.

We anticipate that it will take approximately 20 minutes to complete the questionnaire. It can also be saved part way and finished off later. You have the option to skip questions or answer ‘not applicable’ as appropriate to you.

A separate questionnaire for Barristers has also been launched. This is due to the very different qualification routes and workplace experiences. If you are unsure as to which is best suited for you, please contact Dr Natasha Hirst on HirstN2@cardiff.ac.uk

Click here to fill in the survey for barristers. 

If you have any queries or require the questionnaire in a word document or other accessible format please get in touch with Dr Natasha Hirst on HirstN2@cardiff.ac.uk

Please note that both researchers are part-time on the project and will respond as soon as possible to any queries.

Revised research timetable

Legally Disabled project secures further funding

We are very pleased to announce that we have secured further funding from Cardiff University that will enable us to extend the timescale and activities of the Legally Disabled research project.

This will enable us to do more work around disseminating the research and engaging with organisations across the legal profession to ensure that our findings and recommendations have greater impact.

Continue reading “Revised research timetable”

SRA Disability Workshops – spaces available

People networking in a large reception area

Spaces still available for a disability in the workplace workshop – London and Birmingham

The SRA conducted a recent disability in the workplace survey. They want to find out more about how your firm is supporting a disability inclusive environment.

To help this, the SRA are holding two workshop to discuss the survey findings and share best practice. All are welcome to attend, please book your place.

Please click on the link below for the best date / location for you:

 

NOTE: this is a separate initiative to the Legally Disabled project although we will be in attendance at the Birmingham workshop.

If you have your own disability events that we can promote please get in touch!

Season’s Greetings!

ginger kitten under a christmas tree

Project update

As we send our best wishes to everyone over the Christmas holidays, here is a quick progress update.

Following a successful series of focus groups and over fifty five one-to-one interviews, we are delighted to update you on the progress of the research.

Eight focus groups took place early in 2018 in London, Manchester, Cardiff and Birmingham with disabled legal professionals including paralegals, solicitors, barristers, judges, trainees and retirees.

We recently completed the second stage of the project – one to one interviews. These explored individual experiences in more depth. We are currently finalising the analysis of the interviews to draw out the key research themes. There is so much useful information from the interviews!

What next?

Over the first few weeks of 2019, the report on the initial findings of the research will be drafted. A questionnaire will also be developed and disseminated as widely as possible to identify how common certain experiences are for disabled legal professionals.

Later in the year we will hold a conference to share and discuss the findings of the research.

A Research Reference Group consisting of disabled legal professionals from a diversity of backgrounds have supported us with the ongoing development and implementation of the project.

Thank you to all who have taken part in the interviews and focus groups. Your openness about your experiences has been incredibly valuable and will enable us to produce a report and recommendations that we hope will have an impact on improving how the legal professional includes disabled people.

We’d love to talk to you!

If your group, network or firm would like us to come along and discuss our findings over the Spring and Summer please do get in touch. We also value all support that you can give with sharing the questionnaire and research findings as we progress the project.

Many more people have expressed an interest in being involved in other ways. If you haven’t already been in touch and you’d like to be involved, you can reach us on info@legallydisabled.com

Please take a look around the website to find out how you can participate and follow the progress of the work.

Top tips for disabled pupillage applicants

A row of people with paperwork on their laps

With thanks to Isabel Baylis for this guest blog. Isabel is the Equality and Diversity Manager at Matrix Chambers.

An expert panel of barristers and recruiters with disabilities came together to answer questions and offer advice to disabled applicants at the Bar Council’s ‘Applicants with a Disability’ Seminar at the National Pupillage Fair on 27th October 2018.

Below are their top tips in response to questions asked by an audience of disabled law students:

Continue reading “Top tips for disabled pupillage applicants”

Your opportunity to make a difference!

Actively seeking to interview disabled legal professionals from diverse groups, barristers and people in Wales.

We have been delighted with the support and interest in our research and are hugely grateful to everyone who has contributed so far.

There are still a few opportunities left to do one to one interviews about your experiences of working in the legal profession or seeking work. All interviews remain confidential.

We include people who are disabled and/or have a long-term health condition and we are especially keen to hear from more barristers, people working in Wales and anyone from other diverse groups such as BAME, LGBTQ.

This is your opportunity to influence a positive change in the legal profession to create a more inclusive and accessible sector for disabled people.

Please get in touch with any queries you may have on:

info@legallydisabled.com

Seminar – invisible disabilities in the workplace

We have been asked to promote this free seminar – if you have an interest in disability within the legal profession, then this will be a timely and relevant event to attend.

The invisible impairments in the workplace event has been designed to support solicitors, HR and D&I practitioners. This event looks at the varying experiences of members of the profession who live with invisible/hidden impairments. We will also be discussing conditions such as cancer that have been acquired during a solicitors working career and the ways in which employers can be better equipped to support an employee with an invisible impairment.

Learning objectives

  • Top tips on how to discuss your disability in the workplace
  • Learn how to support an employee with a hidden disability
  • Gain first hand insight of the experiences of solicitors with hidden disabilities.

Programme

17:00 – 17:30 Registration and refreshments

17:30 – 17:40  Welcome and introductions

17:40 – 18:50  Panel session Vanessa Forster, British Council legal team and LDD committee member Robert Hunter, partner, Edmonds Marshall McMahon and LDD committee member
Caroline Milton, Macmillan at work delivery manager, Macmillan Cancer Support

18:50 – 19:05  Comfort Break

19:05 – 19:45  Q&A session 19:45 – 20:30  Networking drinks

Who should attend?

This event is open to all solicitors, D&I and HR professionals.

Price

This event is free to attend. Book your place here.

 

The Lawyers with Disabilities Division

Introducing our key partner

We have added a new page to our website that gives you an overview of the work of our key partner, the Lawyers with Disabilities Division.

Take a look to find out who they are, what they do and how you can become a member.

Upcoming event

There will be a mini-conference on 21st November starting at 5.30pm until 8 pm at the Law Society, covering invisible disabilities. Members of the LDD committee in practice, will talk about how they qualified and work successfully with impairments.

Lawyers with Disabilities Division has a Facebook page which posts updates on LDD events, funding and work opportunities, general legal news and current disability issues.