The Abled Lawyer
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A few weeks ago, The Law Society's Lawyers with Disabilities Division (LDD) held its first networking event since before the pandemic. Kindly hosted by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in their London office, the event enabled disabled people and allies to join in person or virtually to network and celebrate disability. During the event, we heard from a fantastic line up of guest speakers whom my fellow LDD committee members interviewed.
The LDD organised the event because, throughout the pandemic, so many people have felt isolated and, even during ‘normal’ times, it's not easy to find other disabled people in the legal profession. Many members have told the LDD that one of the main things people get from the committee is the knowledge that they are not alone.
I resonate with this sentiment entirely when I reminisce back to when I joined the committee in 2019 and attended my first meeting. It was the first time I had met another disabled lawyer and not only this but there were 12 of us there! I remember feeling rather emotional afterwards because I finally found others like me and came to realise that I wasn't alone in my experiences.
For me, the summer social was a huge success! Throughout my time at the LDD, I have met many allies and worked with people on various disability inclusion initiatives. Some of those have become friends along the way. It was enriching to hear other people's experiences and meet my friends in person after such a long time working together virtually.
Moreover, it was incredibly meaningful that my LawCareers.Net team and colleagues from Freeths LLP came along to support the event. Having their support for my work in disability and wider disability inclusion is encouraging and highlights the importance of allyship.
One key takeaway from the event is that disability inclusion is now more than ever on law firms' and organisations' radars. Even within my three years on the LDD committee, I have seen a considerable peak in interest by firms and organisations looking to put disability inclusion high on their agenda. I'm incredibly excited for the future of disability inclusion within the legal profession.