Law Society calls for participants in Diversity and Inclusion Accreditation pilot
The Law Society has announced more details of its accreditation scheme to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
The new suite of accreditations will cover gender; race and ethnicity; disability and wellbeing; LGBT+; and social mobility – and will be offered to law firms over three levels of accreditation: Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Bronze - understanding your organisation and creating a baseline
Silver - creating and sustaining impact
Gold - being an exemplar organisation.
“The accreditation will allow organisations to use their own data to inform their narrative and identify areas where there is existing activity, as well as identify areas for improvement, which can be set out through an accompanying action plan,” said the Law Society in a statement.
The Law Society will oversee the application process – and a panel of independent peer assessors, comprising representatives of the legal profession, will assess applications submitted.
The process will be moderated by the Law Society – the pilot announced will focus solely on the Bronze level of accreditation.
“We have been supported in our development phase by a working group represented by some existing charter signatories – and they have helped us to identify how we can challenge the profession and drive standards in practice.
“We are nearing the time to pilot our first module, which this year will focus on gender to support the presidential activity in promoting Women in Leadership in Law.”
By focusing on the Bronze level in the pilot, the Law Society said it would enable it to understand where firms currently are in their journey with gender equality – “as well as gauge whether we are pitching the accreditation correctly at Bronze level”.
“This is a very exciting time for the Law Society, its members and stakeholders in the development of this new product – and we would like to invite firms of all sizes to come forward to become involved in our pilot.
“Your firm will help us understand if our proposal can meet the needs of our members and their firms – as well as drive practice excellence in this area.”
Firms willing to take part in the six-month pilot should make an expression of interest by completing a survey.
The Law Society is also looking for expressions of interest from individuals who would like to become peer assessors involved in assessing applications made by the firms on the pilot initially. More information is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participants will be provided with guidance and support from the Law Society’s diversity and inclusion team throughout the pilot exercise in completing the submission for accreditation.
“We are keen to ensure that there is diversity in the firms that are involved during this developmental stage – and the support provided will be tailored to suit the needs of each firm as appropriate.” The Law Society added.
“We would particularly like to encourage small firms and firms outside of London – as well as firms that are keen to advance their equality, diversity and inclusion work and might not have the resources to do so.
“If you would like to express an interest in becoming a peer assessor, full training will be provided for this role.”
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