Ethnic minority lawyers

Black History Month: to lift as we climb

Listen to an inspirational and honest conversation with I. Stephanie Boyce and Inez Brown on diversity and inclusion.

I. Stephanie Boyce, the first Black president of the Law Society of England and Wales, and Inez Brown, the first Black president of Birmingham Law Society, join us for a candid and insightful discussion about diversity, inclusion, obstacles and opportunities to mark Black History Month 2021.

Both role models and pioneers for the profession, Stephanie and Inez take us on a journey of their experiences, identities, and careers.

They share the challenges they’ve faced and overcome throughout their professional and personal lives.

Stephanie and Inez also discuss recent examples of bias, stereotyping and discrimination, and how these interactions have impacted them and shaped them into who they are today.

They share their ambitions, examples of their resilience and encourage Black lawyers, qualified, training or aspirational, to never give up.

Listen to the podcast:

I. Stephanie Boyce

President of the Law Society of England and Wales

Stephanie was admitted as a solicitor in 2002 and has a wealth of experience in corporate governance, regulatory frameworks and professional regulation.

Stephanie holds a master of laws in public law and global governance from King’s College London and is a fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute.

She is a Council member of the Law Society of England and Wales representing the Women Lawyers Division and Board member of the Law Society.

Stephanie is also a solicitor member of the Joint Tribunal Service and holds a number of statutory appointments with her local authority.

She has recently been appointed to the HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy commission – an independent taskforce boosting socio-economic diversity at senior levels in financial and professional services.

In 2020, Stephanie was voted on to the Governance Hot 100 as a Board Influencer.

Inez Brown

Partner and head of clinical negligence at Harrison Clark Rickerbys, past president of Birmingham Law Society

Inez is a partner at Harrison Clark Rickerbys (Medical Accident Group) which she joined in January 2012, following 11 years at Anthony Collins Solicitors, where she trained and qualified in clinical negligence.

She heads the clinical negligence team, comprising a staff of 25 including solicitors and support staff.

Inez was elected as president of Birmingham Law Society in July 2020. She was the first Black president of the society in its illustrious 202 years.

During her term, she ran three initiatives:

  • promoting flexible working in the legal sector
  • raising awareness and providing training and support in technology within the legal sector
  • a Diversity Inclusion Scheme in partnership with University of Law, University of Wolverhampton, Harrison Clark Rickerbys and Gateley Legal where two successful candidates have been offered scholarships on postgraduate courses

In July 2021, Inez was appointed as West Midlands Regional Chair of the Institute of Directors, overseeing four branch chairs and members.

Resources

Find out more about ethnic diversity in the profession: Race for Inclusion report

Take a look at the experiences of LGBT+ lawyers and their allies: Pride in the Law report

Overcoming the challenges of intersectionality in the workplace

Becoming an inclusion ally

A guide to race and ethnicity terminology and language

Podcast: Is “BAME” problematic?

Promoting race inclusivity in the workplace: a toolkit for organisations

Black History Month: life in the law

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