Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions about the Diversity and Inclusion Charter. For further information please email the Law Society Diversity and Inclusion team: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Who can be a signatory of the charter?
- What are the charter protocols?
- Does it cost anything to sign up to the charter?
- What do clients think of the charter?
- What do we have to do after signing up to the charter?
- How can we sign up to the charter?
Who can be a signatory of the charter?
All legal service providers can sign up to the charter. It doesn't matter if you're a sole practitioner, a high street firm, an in-house legal team or a global legal practice, everyone is welcome and encouraged to turn their commitment to diversity into positive action.
What are the charter protocols?
The charter is accompanied by a set of protocols designed to help you fulfil the charter's commitments in certain areas of your business.
The reporting and monitoring protocol helps you to collect and record the diversity statistics of your workforce, a task that is now a regulatory requirement. The flexible working protocol helps you to implement flexible working practices into your business so that you can attract and retain a wider pool of talent. There is also a legal procurement protocol which is a commitment by purchasers of legal services to consider diversity and inclusion as part of their normal tendering process.
All protocols come with checklists and toolkits to help you implement them. You can find more information on all of the protocols by visiting our website. They are also available for you to access in the Charter reporting tool.
Does it cost anything to sign up to the charter?
No. Signing up the charter is completely free.
What do clients think of the charter?
Clients, like legal practices, recognise the importance of good diversity and inclusion practices, and are increasingly keen to work with firms who promote these values. Many corporate clients are also moving towards selection and de-selection of firms based on their demonstrable diversity and inclusion commitment and performance. Clients who have signed up to the procurement protocol require prospective legal service providers to say whether they have signed up to the Diversity and Inclusion Charter. This is then considered as part of the procurement bid.
What do we have to do after signing up to the charter?
As part of their commitment to the charter, all signatories must participate in an biennial report. They do this through completing a self assessment against a set of standards. The self assessment results are collected through an easy to use online form, and the process helps you to identify good diversity and inclusion practices from the past year and chart your firm’s progress.
The key indicators in the standards can show you how well your firm is complying with equality legislation, regulation and Lexcel equality and diversity requirements. The standards cover all areas of your business including
- leadership and vision
- employment and staff development
- provision of legal services
- engagement with staff, clients and community
- policy making and practice development
- monitoring and review
- procurement and supplier diversity
- sharing good practice
By completing the self assessment against the standards signatories demonstrate how the firm is communicating diversity and inclusion practices and engaging stakeholders, as well as the positive outcomes that have been achieved as a result of signing up to the charter.
The results of these self assessment forms are then collated and published in aggregate at the end of the year in the Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Charter Biennial Review.
How can we sign up to the charter?
Signing up to the Diversity and Inclusion Charter is easy. A partner or director needs to email the Law Society at email@example.com stating their commitment. Once we have this we will ask for some information from you to ensure all signatories meet the charter's requirements. We'll then create an account for the firm.