New audiences and challenges for LGBT History Month

A report on Law Society activities for LGBT History Month 2019

A conscious effort to increase regional engagement was a great success for the Law Society and the LGBT+ Lawyers Division (LGBT+LD) after a number of firms and organisations across England and Wales accepted our offer to work together.

New skills were learned and new audiences reached; contentious topics were discussed; and membership of the LGBT+ Lawyers Division hugely increased.

Common themes emerged and will help our work in supporting LGBT+ solicitors and colleagues, as well as LGBT+ rights in general.


Speed networking - London (1 February) and Cardiff (21 February)

LGBT History Month 2019 Cardiff Networking










Chris Seel gave networking advice at the Cardiff speed networking event

Attendees from across the legal profession learned general and LGBT+ specific skills from members of the LGBT+LD committee, and practised them in both formal and informal networking sessions.

Guidance on networking skills is being produced to reflect these practical sessions, and will be published on our website.

Regional diversity and inclusion forums - Bristol (6 February) and Birmingham (13 February)

LGBT History Month 2019 Regional DI Forum










The LGBT+LD committee took part in the Birmingham diversity and inclusion forum

Members of the LGBT+LD committee joined these regular meetings to discuss what the division is doing and hear about the issues being faced within firms and organisations.

Common themes included lack of numbers (meaning that multi-organisational networks may be needed) and lack of understanding of parts of the LGBT+ community.

Find out more about our regional diversity and inclusion forums.

Watershed moments past and present - London (13 February)

LGBT+LD committee member Jonathan Wheeler, managing partner at Bolt Burdon Kemp, and others discussed LGBT History Month milestones for Bindmans LLP's celebration of LGBT History Month.

Listen to the discussion.

Hate crimes discussion - London (15 February)

LGBT History Month 2019 Hate Crimes

Panellists at RPC discussed the effects of the Admiral Duncan bombing

Chris Seel, diversity and inclusion adviser at the Law Society, chaired a panel discussion at RPC on the effects of the Admiral Duncan bombing 20 years ago.

Panellists highlighted the need to remain vigilant and call out/report hate crimes wherever they occur - including in the workplace.

Trans discussions - Bristol (21 February) and London (27 February)

LGBT History Month 2019 Trans Discussions










Bridget Garrood spoke about trans equality at Leigh Day

At RPC in Bristol, LGBT+LD committee memer Bridget Garrood, partner at Cartridges Law, discussed how much change the Gender Recognition Act has made in the 15 years since it was enacted.

At Leigh Day in London, she also participated in an update on trans equality.

Breakthrough moments: LGBT people and the law - Leeds (27 February)

Irwin Mitchell hosted Leeds' cross-industry/profession LGBT Diversity Group's panel event, in which Law Society diversity and inclusion adviser Chris Seel shared his experiences of working in the law for almost 30 years.

Diversity discussion - Cheltenham (28 February)

LGBT History Month 2019 Cheltenham










Representatives from Charles Russell Speechlys and Cheltenham Junior Lawyers Division met to discuss diversity

Charles Russell Speechlys and Cheltenham Junior Lawyers Division discussed practical issues with achieving LGBT+ inclusion, and Chris Seel shared what the Law Society and the LGBT+LD are doing to promote diversity and inclusion.


The latest in our series of podcasts featured LGBT+LD committee members sharing what LGBT History Month means to them, how they mark it, and why it is still important.

Listen to the podcast.

Press and newsletter features

Law Society Gazette

Items from LGBT+ Lawyers Division committee members:

Other LGBT+ content:

Ewan Watson gave his tips for setting up in-house LGBT+ staff networks

LGBT History Month 2019 Staff Networks










Find out more and join the LGBT+ Lawyers Division

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