The legal professions of England and Wales - solicitors, barristers, and Chartered Legal Executives - are joining together to mark Pride events in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff and at the flagship march in London in July led by the heads of the professions.
'All are equal under the law'
The Law Society of England and Wales, the Bar Council, and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) will be marching under the banner of 'All are equal under the law' in London, Manchester and Leeds to highlight the work of lawyers to defend LGBT+ rights and to recognise the LGBT+ community’s contribution to the legal sector.
16 law firms are featured in Stonewall’s top 100 LGBT-inclusive employers list, three of them in the top 10, and many entrants have large in-house legal teams.
The Law Society’s incoming president Christina Blacklaws said:
'I am delighted that one of my first jobs as president will be to represent solicitors at London Pride, and to show my commitment to further increasing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Our members come from a huge range of personal and professional backgrounds - all will be represented at Prides throughout England and Wales this summer. Our support for LGBT+ people and their rights is year-round and non-negotiable.'
Chair of the Bar, Andrew Walker QC, said:
'The Bar stands for respect and justice for all, both in society and within the profession. The Bar Council continues to work to ensure that this is the reality for LGBT+ barristers and aspiring barristers, such as through our support of FreeBar, Bar Lesbian and Gay Group (BLAGG) and other initiatives; by producing short films to give a voice to the experiences of our LGBT+ members; and through influencing the regulator - as we did recently in prompting the Bar Standards Board to consider making changes in how it collects data around sexual orientation at the Bar. We will march proudly in celebration of the LGBT+ community and the role it plays in a diverse, modern legal profession, which properly reflects the society it serves.'
CILEx president Millicent Grant FCILEx said:
'Chartered Legal Executives lawyers and CILEx paralegals are the most diverse legal profession, and a diverse legal community is integral to fostering public trust and confidence in our justice system. More than 50 years after parliament first voted to legalise homosexuality in the UK, LGBT+ people still confront challenges, in particular among the trans community today. It is important that we send out our clear message that we are an open and accepting legal community, and that all are equal under the law.'
Lawyers are welcome to join the marches in Birmingham and Cardiff, which are 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.
Dates for 2018 Pride events include:
- Birmingham - Saturday 26 May
- London - Saturday 07 July
- Leeds - Sunday 05 August
- Manchester - Saturday 25 August
- Cardiff - Sunday 26 August
#LegalPride is in association with the Chancery Bar, BLAGG, the Law Society Junior Lawyers Division, FreeBar, the Interlaw Diversity Forum, and the CILEx LGBT Specialist Reference Group.