“Significant barriers for disabled legal professionals”

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“Legally Disabled?” finds significant barriers for disabled legal professionals

Press release 5th June 2018

Professor Debbie Foster of Cardiff University Business School and independent researcher Dr Natasha Hirst are conducting groundbreaking research into the experiences of disabled people in the legal profession. The independent research is funded by DRILL (Disability Research into Independent Living and Learning), which delivers the world’s first major research programme led by disabled people.

Key Findings:

Initial findings from focus groups of disabled legal professionals highlight a mixed bag of experiences:

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Interview participants needed!

'are you a disabled person working in the legal profession? We are exploring the experiences of disabled people working, who have worked or are seeking work in the legal profession. Get in touch to find out more info@legallydisabled.com

Are you a disabled legal professional?

We are embarking on the interview stage of our research, involving individual, one-to-one interviews. These can be conducted face-to-face, by phone or by Skype and may take between 1 to 2 hours. We can factor in breaks and work to times that suit your requirements.

We are seeking to interview people with impairments or health conditions, from different areas of the legal profession. This includes those who have qualified but can’t secure work or training contracts, those working in the profession and those who have since left.

Please get in touch on info@legallydisabled.com if you would like to put yourself forward for interview or wish to find out more.

Disability in the Legal Professions – Guest blog

Daniel Holt

Introducing Daniel Holt

Daniel is an aspiring barrister. He is a Trustee of Disability Rights UK, Policy and Procedures Executive at Regard, Employment and Social Security Representative at the Free Representation Unit and on the Human Rights Lawyers Association’s Young Lawyers Committee. He presents and delivers workshops on various topics.

Disability diversity in the legal professions

The Human Rights Lawyers Association’s Young Lawyers’ Committee recently offered a unique opportunity to discuss disability diversity in the legal professions. The Committee welcomed a panel of leading lawyers consisting of John Horan (Barrister, Cloisters Chambers), Joanna Owens (EHRC), Jocelyn Cockburn (Partner and Head of Civil Liberties, Hodge Jones & Allen), Diego F. Soto-Miranda (1 Essex Court Chambers) and Josh Hepple (Disability Equality Trainer, Activist and Writer). These prominent lawyers reviewed practising with a disability through personal experience, which was a new venture for several panellists. The accounts were refreshing, organic, optimistic and alarming.

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City Disabilities

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Networks in focus – City Disabilities

In a career that spans over 30 years in the City, Robert Hunter has been a partner in both a magic circle law firm, and a boutique fraud specialist firm. He has conducted advocacy in fraud and trust cases at all stages in the proceedings, including carrying out cross examination at trial. Robert is profoundly deaf, having suffered from progressive hearing loss since his early teens.

Together with Kayleigh Farmer and Kate Rees-Doherty, Robert founded City Disabilities, a charity offering mentoring and advice to students and professionals who are disabled or have long-term health conditions. City Disabilities also works with employers and professional bodies to raise awareness and improve best practice, including organising training, speakers and events.

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2018 Focus Group dates announced

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Focus Groups around England and Wales

Focus Groups help us to understand the key issues impacting on disabled legal professionals and will shape the direction of our research.

Following a successful series of focus groups in 2017, we are delighted to announce further opportunities to take part in the research.

The 2018 Focus Groups for all disabled legal professionals will be:

Birmingham   12th February, 12.30 – 2pm

Cardiff   9th February, 1 – 2.30pm and 16th February, 2 – 3.30pm

Manchester   26th February 5 – 6.30pm

 

London (Barristers and Clerks only)   2nd and 19th February, 4.30pm – 6pm

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Focus Group Dates

These groups are crucial to help us to gain a better insight into the issues that you have faced throughout your career so that we can start to shape our research questions.

We will provide a number of prompts to stimulate discussion to explore the experiences of disabled people and people with health conditions (including mental health) across the legal profession.

  • Focus Groups will be run in co-operation with the LDD
  • Each session 1.5 hours maximum
  • Groups of two to ten people
  • Chatham House Rules – confidentiality respected
  • Held in accessible venues around England and Wales
  • All focus groups facilitated by disabled people

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