The legal professions of England and Wales - solicitors, barristers, and chartered legal executives - are joining together to mark Pride 2019.
Events in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff and at the flagship march in London in July will be 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 as #LegalPride under the banner 'All are equal under the law'.
Marches will take place 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 (including number one), and many entrants have large in-house legal teams.
Christina Blacklaws, president of the Law Society, 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 is important to show the public the legal profession will constantly and unequivocally support LGBT+ people and their rights.’
Richard Atkins QC, chair of the Bar, 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 Hon. Society of Inner Temple and colleagues from across the profession, as part of #Legal Pride.
‘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.’
Philip Sherwood FCILEx, president of CILEx, said:
‘A diverse legal community is integral to fostering public trust and confidence in our justice system and I am proud that chartered legal executive lawyers and CILEx paralegals 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.’
Lawyers are welcome to join the marches in Birmingham and Cardiff, which are being coordinated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
They will be joined by the Legal Services Board, the Bar Standards Board, CILEx Regulation and the Intellectual Property Regulation Board.
- Birmingham - Saturday 25 May (SRA led)
- London - Saturday 6 July
- Bristol - Saturday 13 July
- Newcastle - Saturday 20 July
- Leeds - Sunday 4 August
- Manchester - Saturday 24 August
- Cardiff - Saturday 24 August (SRA led)
#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.