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 disabled people 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.
Virtual Coffee Mornings
The Bristol Law Society holds regular coffee mornings for disabled legal professionals based in the Bristol area. Our Coffee Mornings continue to be held virtually.
UK Disability History Month
UK Disability History Month runs annually - details will be posted here as they come live.
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. http://legallydisabled.com/
Launched on the 2nd November 2020, their follow-up research, in partnership with The Law Society, shows how disabled lawyers have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and how increased remote working and more flexibility with reasonable adjustments could make the legal profession more accessible.
You can find all their reports here. http://legallydisabled.com/research-reports/
Lawyers with Disabilities Division of the Law Society
The Lawyers with Disabilities Division promotes equal opportunities for people with disabilities within the legal profession. We encourage solicitors to use their experiences and expertise to support aspiring solicitors or colleagues seeking to progress in the legal sector.
Bristol Law Society Honorary Secretary, Coralie McKeivor, sits on the Lawyers with Disabilities Division Committee and heads up their regional engagement sub-committee.
The Lawyers with Disabilities Division has produced guidance for law firms including:
- Reasonable adjustments in organisations – best practice for disability inclusion
- Easy wins and action points for disability inclusion
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 or get in contact with Coralie directly.
Law Society Guidance:
- Reasonable Adjustments Guidance Reasonable adjustments in organisations – best practice for disability inclusion | The Law Society
- Easy wins and action points for disability inclusion Easy wins and action points for disability inclusion | The Law Society
- Becoming a Solicitor as a Disabled Solicitor Becoming a solicitor as a disabled student | The Law Society
- Law Society D&I Framework Diversity and inclusion framework | The Law Society
- Case Study: BCLP Workplace Adjustments Impact story: supporting workplace adjustments at BCLP | The Law Society
Other Reasonable Adjustments Resources:
- ACAS What reasonable adjustments are: Reasonable adjustments at work
- Access to Work Access to Work: get support if you have a disability or health condition: What Access to Work is - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Business Disability Forum – Workplace Adjustments Survey Results The Great Big Workplace Adjustments Survey 2023 (businessdisabilityforum.org.uk)
- Citizens Advice – Duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people - Citizens Advice
- Equality and Human Rights Commission - What are reasonable adjustments? | Equality and Human Rights Commission (equalityhumanrights.com)
- Scope - Reasonable adjustments at work | Disability charity Scope UK
- SRA - SRA | Reasonable adjustments in the provision of legal services | Solicitors Regulation Authority
Resources & Websites:
- SRA: Disability in the Workplace
- SRA: Promoting disability inclusion in law firms – setting out good practice
- SRA: How diverse is the Legal profession
- Lawyers with Disabilities Division
- Lawyers with Disabilities on LinkedIn
- Legally Disabled
- Disability inclusion in the legal profession roundtable
- Legally Disabled – Two years on
- Business case for diversity and inclusion, which also contains tips and practical suggestions for leaders to be more inclusive.
- Reignite Academy
- Lawyers with Disabilities Network
- Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
- Equality Act 2010
- DWP Health and Disability Assessment Services Framework
- Disability Confident Campaign
- Royal National Institute for the Blind
- Aging InPlace – Statistics about hearing loss and hearing aids
- Action on Hearing Loss
- Leonard Cheshire
- Bristol Mind
- Mental Health
- Disability Rights
- Business Disability Forum
We love collaborating with others. If you have any websites, resources or events you would like us to share or collaborate on please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.