President’s charity gala dinner: recognising vital work in the profession

I. Stephanie Boyce hosted a fundraising gala dinner, with our Headline Sponsor Laurence Simons, which raised over £67,000 for her nominated charities. We learn more about the important work that they do.

On 15 September 2022, colleagues from across the profession came together with Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce for a fundraising gala dinner, celebrating and recognising her nominated presidential charities.

Over £67,000 was raised at the event, and the funds will be shared equally between Stephanie's nominated charities: LawCare, the Sutton Trust and the Access to Justice Foundation.

"My term of office will come to an end on 12 October and this will be the final dinner I host as president," Stephanie commented.

"I’m delighted to help raise vital funds needed to support the continued work of these fantastic and much-needed organisations."

Improving social mobility

One of Stephanie’s top priorities throughout her presidency has been improving social mobility in the profession.

The Sutton Trust champions social mobility through programmes, research and policy influence.

They support young people from less advantaged backgrounds to access leading universities and careers, with 41,000 young people from state schools across the UK having attended a Sutton Trust programme since 1997.

James Turner, chief executive of the Sutton Trust, said: "We are absolutely thrilled that I. Stephanie Boyce has selected the Sutton Trust as one of her presidential charities to support during her term in office.

"We are hugely grateful for the Law Society’s continued support of the trust and our ‘Pathways to Law’ programme. We have worked together to break down barriers for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, spurred on by a shared belief that the legal sector should be open to the brightest and best, regardless of background."

Promoting better mental health and wellbeing

Mental health and wellbeing are key issues facing the legal sector today, and LawCare is the mental wellbeing charity offering support for the legal community.

They offer free, confidential, and emotional support to anyone working in the legal profession and have been doing so for 25 years.

The funds raised at this event will help support their work partnering with legal educators, regulators, professional bodies and legal practices to improve culture in the law, and to encourage healthy legal workplaces and challenge the stigma that can make it hard for people to seek help. 

Ensuring access to justice for all

Access to justice has always been on the agenda for the legal profession and is now more so than ever.

The Access to Justice Foundation estimates that two thirds of the UK population don’t know how to get legal advice and with 14 million people living in poverty, there are many who can’t afford it.

As the legal aid budget continues to be the victim of real terms government cuts, the Access to Justice Foundation aims to raise and distribute funds to advice agencies who make the most difference to the lives of vulnerable people.

By funding law centres, local citizens advice, independent advice agencies and pro bono projects, they champion the use of the law as a tool for social change.

"We’re very pleased that Stephanie has chosen to support the Access to Justice Foundation this year. We make grants to frontline legal advice charities so that more people can get help to resolve their housing, employment, benefits, immigration and family legal issues."

A word from our Headline Sponsor

Laurence Simons: leaders in legal searchClare Beresford, chief executive officer at Laurence Simons, adds: "Laurence Simons is committed to using our voices and actions to help create an inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible world for all. We are delighted to be the headline sponsor for the president's charity gala dinner.

"By playing our small part and connecting our work with that of the Sutton Trust, the Access to Justice Foundation and LawCare, we can continue transforming the legal landscape so that recruitment into the profession is not only equitable and open but a place where everyone can thrive in their job.

"With more than three decades of industry-leading experience, an expert team and a global presence, Laurence Simons is a leading light in the legal search industry. Providing unique, bespoke legal search services to law firms and many of the largest multinational companies around the world, we are passionate about delivering through our people-first approach."

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