One of the important areas of work in our annual plan is to continue to champion equality and diversity in the profession. This year we will place particular emphasis on better understanding and improving racial inclusion in the profession.
Building on the findings of the Profile of the Profession research, we are launching a new Racial Inclusion Group to help us better understand the experience of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic members (BAME). We hope that the research and insights of this group will help us continue to build a welcoming, inclusive profession.
While it is intended that the group will largely comprise those with direct experience of the legal profession or legal study, we value the knowledge and expertise from people outside the legal profession and welcome applications from non-solicitors. To find out more about the group's aims and remit, and information to help your application, please see below.
It is intended that the group will publish a report for the Law Society Council by end of summer 2021, at which point the group will stand down.
The convener of the group will also be our representative on the Scottish Government’s Cross-Justice Working Group on Race and Workforce. It is possible that their term of office will therefore extend beyond the lifetime of the working group.
The Racial Inclusion Group’s remit is to:
- Revisit the Profile of the Profession report and undertake a literature review of any other data sources that may give us insight on how to improve racial inclusion in the profession
- Invite Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic law students, trainees, and solicitors to come forward to speak openly (anonymously, if preferred) about their experiences. This may be done, for example, in one-to-one calls or by subject-focused roundtables
- Speak to stakeholders in the profession, such as universities, law firms, in-house counsel and the bodies, such as SCTS, to discuss best practice, challenges and how we can seek to overcome these challenges.
Members of the Racial Inclusion Group will have some or all of the following:
- an understanding and experience of the Scottish legal profession
- an understanding of current issues facing BAME solicitors within the profession
- an understanding of current issues facing BAME people on the route to qualification
- experience of participation in a committee or working group
- be able to scrutinise the output of staff-led research and help formulate a response to that evidence and data
The convener of the Racial Inclusion Group will require the above and also the following:
- experience of chairing committees or working groups
- presentation and media skills
- a willingness to act as a spokesperson for the Society on the work of the Racial Inclusion Group
- a willingness to represent the Society at the Cross-Justice Working Group.
Who would we like to apply?
We are looking for people from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experience, who have a passion for and commitment to further equality and diversity in the legal profession. We welcome applications from individuals whose professional or lived experience can help us better understand the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic solicitors.
We welcome applications from people who belong to groups currently under-represented in Scottish public life, including people from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background, LGBT+ people, young people and disabled people.
In making the appointments, we will seek to achieve a diversity of background and experience, including aiming for a gender balance. We will also seek to ensure that the entire legal profession is represented and welcome applications from across the profession.