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Diversity and Inclusion Charter

  • The charter was established in 2009 by the Law Society, BT and the Society of Asian Lawyers and is designed to help firms and 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 practices, policies and 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.

    As of May 2017, 467 firms and practices have signed up to the charter, representing more than a third of the legal profession in England and Wales.

    Charter statement

    The Diversity and Inclusion Charter is a public commitment by legal practices to promote the values of diversity 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

    Charter protocols

    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 about the charter protocols.

    Diversity and inclusion standards

    We've developed a set of diversity and inclusion standards to help our charter signatories with completing their biennial 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.

    Free to all charter signatories, 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.

    Biennial report

    Practices and firms who sign up to the charter are required to participate in a biennial report. This report shows signatories how well they are meeting their charter commitments and where more work needs to be done.
    Signatories 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 and they lead on this.
    Read more information and download the previous report

    Registration

    Signing up to the charter is easy. A partner or director sends an email to inclusioncharter@lawsociety.org.uk stating their commitment. Once we have this, we will ask for information from you to ensure that all signatories meet the charter's requirements. We then create an account for the firm.