There are a number of key stages to the development of the research, all of which will happen in equal partnership (co-production) with disabled legal professionals.
The project has established a Research Reference Group consisting of only disabled legal professionals and the two key researchers. This group supports the researchers with designing and delivering the research. Data has been collected through a number of focus groups and we will shortly begin one to one interviews. When analysis of the interviews is complete we will distribute a large-scale survey.At all stages, the aim is for disabled people to lead the way.
September 2017 marked the launch of an exciting new research project, “Legally Disabled? The career experiences of disabled people in the legal profession in England & Wales: developing future strategies.”
Prof Debbie Foster and Dr Natasha Hirst formally launched the “Legally Disabled” research project at the September executive meeting of the Lawyers with Disabilities Division (LDD) at the Law Society in London.
The project has been given huge support and the great enthusiasm of project partners at the LDD has helped the project get off to the best possible start.
The research is funded by the DRILL Programme (Disability Research into Independent Living and Learning), a four nations project providing grants across the UK for research designed and delivered in co-production between disabled people and academics or researchers.
With Cardiff University as the lead on this 18-month project, all researchers on the project are disabled people and the key project partner, the LDD, consists of disabled lawyers. The research will be investigating the barriers and solutions for disabled people across the legal profession.
The Lawyers with Disabilities Division (Law Society) have been key partners in the development of the project which aims to co-produce research with disabled legal professionals. We are continuing to seek the involvement of other groups across the legal profession.