Diversity and Inclusion Charter

The Diversity and Inclusion Charter is a public commitment by legal practices to promote the values of diversity and inclusion throughout their business.

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Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Charter review

We're reviewing our Diversity and Inclusion Charter and good practice guidance for firms and organisations.

The aim is to redesign our offer to ensure it's relevant to our members and based on the latest evidence of what is most likely to work in progressing diversity and inclusion in the legal sector.

We're currently developing a new framework for diversity and inclusion.

The framework will provide a roadmap to follow as we take action to progress diversity and inclusion based on up-to-date evidence of what is most likely to work in the legal sector. It will be published on the website in autumn 2022.

Current D&I Charter signatories are being consulted, including on the future of the commitment.

If we retain the D&I Charter commitment it will be linked to the new framework.

If you have any questions, email diversityteam@lawsociety.org.uk.

The Charter commitment

The Charter was established in 2009 by the Law Society, BT and the Society of Asian Lawyers.

This is the Charter’s public statement of commitment:

The signatories to this charter believe that a commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential to reflect the society we serve today. It makes business sense because it helps us to attract and retain the best talent, it enables us to understand and meet clients' needs more effectively and so provide a better quality service.

Accordingly, we'll:

  • strive to achieve best practice in our recruitment, retention and career progression practices as employers
  • support the development of good diversity practice by collecting and sharing examples of practical activities that contribute to progress with other signatories
  • assign responsibility for meeting our charter commitments to a named, senior-level individual
  • work together to develop and adopt future protocols that support the practical implementation of the aims of this charter
  • annually publish the diversity profile of our UK employees and details of our work on equality, diversity and inclusion
  • publish a joint annual report on the basis of a monitoring exercise to measure the impact of this charter and its protocols; these reports will form the basis of regular dialogue with stakeholders, employees and clients

As of July 2018, 490 firms and practices had signed up to the Charter, representing more than a third of the legal profession in England and Wales.

Charter protocols and standards

The Charter was supported by protocols and standards of good practice.

These protocols and standards are now out-dated as the challenges, practices and requirements of diversity and inclusion in the sector have moved on since they were first developed. This is partly why we've decided the Charter needs reviewing.

The new framework that we're developing and intend to publish in autumn 2022 will supersede the protocols and standards.

We'll make the framework available to all.

If the Charter commitment is retained, signatories will commit to following the steps in the framework and benchmark their practice against it.

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