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Supporting and empowering BAME lawyers in 2019/20

8 January 2020

The Ethnic Minority Lawyers Divison (EMLD) aims to empower black and minority ethnic (BAME) lawyers across England and Wales to overcome structural, procedural and attitudinal barriers within the profession.

The EMLD provides many benefits to its members including:

  • support, guidance, engagement and networking opportunities for BAME lawyers who face geographical or workplace isolation and challenges within the profession
  • BAME roundtables around England and Wales to promote dialogue between existing and aspiring BAME lawyers and local law societies, local law firms and law schools
  • student roadshows which give law students the opportunity to meet role models and understand the traditional and non-traditional routes to qualification
  • podcasts from our EMLD committee
  • leading the BAME judicial strategy by running BAME ‘Becoming a Judge’ workshops
  • participating in and delivering events such as Black History Month, highlighting the incredible and positive contribution made by BAME lawyers

Current EMLD initiatives include:

  • engaging with law firms through regional BAME roundtables, including data collection, analysis and action planning
  • securing senior level buy-in by exploring the financial benefits of a diverse workforce
  • engaging with law schools and university students across England and Wales
  • appointing and promoting diversity and inclusion champions and visible BAME role models
  • helping to set up diversity and inclusion internal networks
  • encouraging and assisting law firms to recruit and retain BAME talent

BAME candidates will continue to face perceived and/or actual barriers at each stage of their legal journey, from getting the right help at the right time, to access to the profession, through to recruitment, retention, development and progression.

The EMLD leadership team is committed to dispelling these perceptions and identifying ways to challenge barriers where they arise.

The EMLD Committee can arrange for representatives to visit your firm to talk about how we can offer practical help and guidance. For more information, contact us at ethnicminoritylawyers@lawsociety.org.uk.

Find out more about the EMLD