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.

Association of Disabled Lawyers launches!

People networking in a large reception area

New network welcomes all disabled lawyers and students

The Association will include disabled lawyers and lawyers with mental health experiences and/or who have a long-term health condition. This includes anyone studying or practicing law.

After becoming involved with the “Legally Disabled?” research project, aspiring Barrister Daniel Holt recognised a need for an inclusive network for all disabled lawyers from different areas of the profession.

Daniel said, “The Association will exist to create a community and network for disabled lawyers. We want to make it known that you can practice law and be a disabled person. There are many obstacles that make entering the legal professions and maintaining a career difficult.

Continue reading “Association of Disabled Lawyers launches!”

“Significant barriers for disabled legal professionals”

a dictaphone and pen sits on a spiral bound notepad

“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:

Continue reading ““Significant barriers for disabled legal professionals””

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.

Continue reading “Disability in the Legal Professions – Guest blog”