Disability can affect any one of us, one in four people will be affected by mental ill health in the course of their life and 83 percent of people will acquire their disability whilst in employment.
Bristol Law Society is committed to promoting and supporting ED&I in the legal profession with a focus within Bristol and the South West. As part of this we promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities within the legal profession. Legal professionals can have a wide range of disabilities that affect them to varying degrees, including visual and other sensory impairments, impaired mobility and less immediately apparent disabilities, such as epilepsy, dyslexia and mental health issues.
Legally Disabled Research Project
The ‘Legally Disabled’ survey of solicitors and paralegals found 60% had experienced ill-treatment in the workplace, and of these 80% believed it was related to disability.
This project was led by Professor Debbie Foster of Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University and independent researcher Dr Natasha Hirst and was supported by the Lawyers with Disabilities Division of the Law Society.
This project was the first of its kind to document the career experiences of disabled people working in the legal profession. Bristol Law Society members have been involved with completing interviews, surveys and providing feedback as part of this project and the follow-up roundtable discussions.
Both the full report and the executive summary of findings and recommendations can be downloaded on the Legally Disabled? website.
Lawyers with Disabilities Division of the Law Society
If you are not already a member of the national Law Society Lawyers with Disabilities Division – why not join. Membership of the Lawyers with Disabilities Division is free, and is open to all solicitors and their allies. Members benefit from:
• specialised events and training
• networking opportunities
• a shared platform to exchange views and further mutual interests
• regular e-newsletters and updates
• a one-to-one mentoring programme
• voting rights for division seats on the Law Society’s governing council
To join the Lawyers with Disabilities Division, sign up to My Law Society and tick the Lawyers with disabilities box in special interests. You will receive regular email updates and tailored content will appear on your My Law Society homepage. For more information email lawyerswithdisabilities@LawSociety.org.uk
News & Articles
- SRA: Disability in the Workplace
- SRA: Promoting disability inclusion in law firms – setting out good practice
- SRA: How diverse is the Legal profession
Resources & Websites
- Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
- Equality Act 2010
- DWP Health and Disability Assessment Services Framework
- Lawyers with Disabilities Division
- Lawyers with Disabilities on LinkedIn
- Royal National Institute for the Blind
- AgingInPlace – Statistics about hearing loss and hearing aids
- Action on Hearing Loss
- Leonard Cheshire
- Bristol Mind
- Mental Health
- Disability Rights
- Legally Disabled
Business case for diversity and inclusion, which also contains tips and practical suggestions for leaders to be more inclusive. – https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/topics/hr-and-people-management/equality-diversity-and-inclusion-a-business-case