The legal professions of England and Wales - solicitors, barristers and chartered legal executives - are joining together to mark Pride events in Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Cardiff and London.
The Law Society of England and Wales, the Bar Council of England and Wales, and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) will be marching together as #LegalPride, under the banner of 'All are equal under the law' to highlight the work of lawyers to defend LGBT+ rights and recognise the LGBT+ community’s contribution to the legal sector.
Sixteen law firms are featured in Stonewall’s top LGBT inclusive employers list, three of them in the top 10 (including number one), and many entrants have large in-house legal teams.
President of the Law Society of England and Wales, Christina Blacklaws, said: “We’re proud to advocate for LGBT+ rights in the legal profession and in wider society – and this year we’ll be attending more Pride events than ever.
“Recent developments show why, in the 50th anniversary year of the Stonewall Riots, we still must take a stand. In Brunei, brutal new punishments have been introduced for consensual same-sex acts. In the UK, we have witnessed a fierce backlash to educating on diversity in our schools. A hostile narrative towards trans people and their rights persists.
“It’s important to show the public the legal profession will constantly and unequivocally support LGBT+ people and their rights.”
Chair of the Bar Council of England and Wales, Richard Atkins QC said: “Pride is a celebration of progress, and diversity and inclusion. The Bar Council is delighted to be partnering again this year with the FreeBar and BLAGG, two thriving LGBT+ Bar networks, as well as the Chancery Bar Association, The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple and colleagues from across the profession, as part of #LegalPride.
“We now participate in more Pride events than ever before across England and Wales and encourage LGBT+ and straight barristers to join one or more of the parades to help demonstrate our commitment to inclusion.”
CILEx president Philip Sherwood said: “A diverse legal community is integral to fostering public trust and confidence in our justice system and I am proud that Chartered Legal Executives are so diverse, with 75% of our members women and 11% from a BAME background.
“CILEx will proudly march throughout England and Wales, to pledge its support for LGBT+ CILEx members and the roles they play in the legal profession, sending out our clear message that we are an open and accepting legal community, and that all are equal under the law.”
Dates for 2019 Pride events:
Registration for those wishing to join opens today.
The three professional bodies are being joined for #LegalPride by the Chancery Bar, Bar Lesbian and Gay Group (BLAGG), the Law Society Junior Lawyers Division, the Law Society LGBT+ Lawyers Division, FreeBar, the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, the Interlaw Diversity Forum, and the CILEx LGBT Specialist Reference Group.
Notes to editors
Pride in Birmingham and Cardiff is being coordinated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, who are joined by the Legal Services Board, the Bar Standards Board, CILEx Regulation and the Intellectual Property Regulation Board.
About the Law Society
The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.
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About the Bar Council
The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes:
- the Bar's high-quality specialist advocacy and advisory services
- fair access to justice for all
- the highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and
- the development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad.
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About the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) is one of the three main professional bodies covering the legal profession in England and Wales. The 20,000-strong membership is made up of Chartered Legal Executives, paralegals and other legal professionals.
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