Celebrating Disability History Month 2023
We’ll be sharing stories, resources and guidance to promote disability inclusion because, like you, we believe a diverse and inclusive profession is a resilient one. This year’s theme is ‘disability, childhood and youth’. “The journey to a legal career can be a daunting experience for all aspiring solicitors,” said Law Society president Nick Emmerson.
“A disabled student faces the additional stress of having to overcome barriers based on assumptions and lack of knowledge.
“Employers are increasingly committed to recruiting candidates that can help shape a dynamic and diverse workforce and are tapping into a massive and often excluded talent pool.”
To support disabled students through their studies and in the workplace, we’ve created guidance signposting the available support.
Disability and the legal profession
Disability is underreported in the profession. Only 5% of lawyers and staff in law firms declared a disability in 2021, compared to 14% of the entire UK workforce.
There is a particular imbalance at the largest firms, which have a smaller proportion of disabled lawyers.
The 2020 Legally Disabled? research found many disabled people are not open about their disability in the workplace because they fear negative consequences.
As a result, many disabled people do not request reasonable adjustments meaning they are disadvantaged in the workplace.
We’ll be sharing resources and guidance throughout the month to encourage organisations to remove barriers and improve accessibility to the profession.
Help us to celebrate the contribution of disabled solicitors and reflect on what more we can do to make sure the profession reflects the society it serves.
Throughout the month, representatives from the Law Society and our Disabled Solicitors Network committee will be involved in and speaking at events at:
- Bristol Law Society: reasonable adjustments roundtable (16 November)
- Nottinghamshire Law Society: reasonable adjustments roundtable (16 November)
- Rabobank: IDOPDW: daring conversation (29 November)
- InterLaw Diversity Forum: speed networking (23 November)
- Liverpool Law Society: Law Society work and personal experiences talk (29 November)
- Westminster and Holborn Law Society: disability inclusion (30 November)
- LawCare: podcast will be published and linked in My Legal Life in the Law Society Gazette (3 December)
- Womble Bond Dickinson: disability inclusion in the legal profession webinar (5 December)
- Stephenson Harwood: ADHD event at Legal Neurodiversity Network (7 December)
- Clifford Chance: afternoon panels (13 December)
- Chambers: podcast on disability inclusion
- IPAbility: beyond labels, challenging the stigma of disabled (11 December)
I want to know more
No matter how big or small your firm, in-house team or organisation, you can make a positive change to improve disability inclusion.
Create lasting change with the diversity and inclusion framework. It guides you through three steps to develop and deliver a strategic approach and action plan.
Discover what easy wins and actions points for disability inclusion you can adopt.
Understand how to better support colleagues and staff with our best practice guidance on reasonable adjustments.