The Charter was established in 2009 by the Law Society, BT and the Society of Asian Lawyers. The purpose of the Charter is to help practices turn their commitment to diversity and inclusion in to positive, practical action for their businesses, staff and clients. This is achieved by helping practices to record and measure their procedures against a set of diversity and inclusion standards and by providing them with opportunities to share best practice advice and guidance with colleagues from across the profession. To date over 300 practices have signed up to the Charter, representing more than a third of all solicitors in private practice.
The Diversity and Inclusion Charter is a public commitment by legal practices to promote the values of diversity, equality and inclusion throughout their business. Whether it's through recruitment, retention, career progression or training and development, all our signatories are committed to improving opportunities for people in the legal profession, regardless of their background or circumstances.
See the Charter statement of commitment and list of signatories.
The Charter is accompanied by a set of protocols designed to help practices fulfil their commitments in several key areas of their business, including reporting and monitoring, flexible working and procuring legal services.
The protocols are accompanied by checklists, best practice guidance, case studies and toolkits.
Read more information on the Charter protocols.
We've developed a set of diversity and inclusion standards to help our Charter signatories with completing their annual self assessment form.
The standards help to show how well a legal practice is complying with equality legislation, regulation and Lexcel equality and diversity standards. They also cover other areas of business to ensure that positive diversity and inclusion standards exist throughout the practice.
The Diversity and Inclusion Standards are accompanied by best practice guidance. This document provides Charter signatories with examples of positive diversity and inclusion practices, as well as advice on where to get more help or information.
The diversity and inclusion standards and best practice guidance are free to all signatories of the Diversity and Inclusion Charter.
Practices who sign up to the Charter are required to participate in an annual report. This report shows how well practices are meeting their Charter commitments, and where more work needs to be done.
Practices complete an online, easy to use self-assessment exercise to record their progress and performance and then report their findings back. These results are published in aggregate by the Law Society and used to identify trends, successes and areas for improvement for the year ahead.
Signatories to the Charter are also required to submit diversity statistics for their own workforce at the end of every year. This is now also an SRA requirement.
Read more information and download the full annual report.
Signing up to the Charter is easy. All that is required is for a partner or director to email email@example.com, stating their commitment.
Access to the members' account tool