Legal profession celebrates Black History Month

Solicitors in England and Wales will celebrate Black History Month by embracing the ‘Proud to Be’ theme, which encourages Black people to celebrate and share the pride they have in their heritage and culture.

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: “We will be sharing stories of Black lawyers from across the profession throughout October. I wholeheartedly encourage my Black colleagues to share their stories and experiences and celebrate their achievements and diversity.

“This year’s Black History Month comes just under a year after we published our Race for Inclusion report, which examined the experiences of Black, Asian and minority ethnic solicitors.*

“The 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, which were sparked by the death of George Floyd, brought racial inequalities that persist around the world into sharp focus, with the movement undoubtedly increasing emphasis on the issues in society and the legal profession.

“They also provided a much-needed opportunity for reflection. Our research shone a light on the challenges and obstacles Black, Asian and minority ethnic solicitors face due to their ethnicity.

“It is imperative we talk openly and honestly to ensure we are creating a culture change in the organisations we work in, not just pursuing our own success.”

The Law Society joined the #10000BlackInterns initiative earlier this year and encouraged law firms and legal businesses to do the same.

The #10000BlackInterns initiative was founded to help broaden career opportunities for young Black people in the UK and address the underrepresentation of Black talent in many industries.

The programme aims to offer paid work experience across over twenty sectors – including the law – and create a sustainable cycle of mentorship and sponsorship for the Black community.

Beginning in the summer of 2022, the #10000BlackInterns programme aims to run for the next five years and provide 10,000 internships to young Black people.

I. Stephanie Boyce added: “Applications are now open to join the #10000BlackInterns initiative. There are 118 internships available across the legal services sector.

“We encourage aspiring solicitors to apply so they can gain the experience they need to work in the legal sector.

“The Law Society is offering five internships across a range of teams, including the policy directorate, futures and insight, sales operations and marketing, legal, and people and organisational development.

“I very much look forward to celebrating Black History Month and I look forward to hearing the stories of my Black colleagues in the profession.”

Notes to editors

*Read our Race for Inclusion: the experiences of Black, Asian and minority ethnic solicitors report

Read about the Black History Month 2021 campaign theme

Read more about the #10000BlackInterns initiative

In March 2021, I. Stephanie Boyce became the 177th, sixth female, first Black office holder, the first person of colour and the second in-house solicitor in almost fifty years to become president of the Law Society of England and Wales.

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