Hill Dickinson launch returners’ initiative

updated on 11 October 2021

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Commercial law firm Hill Dickinson LLP has launched a returners’ initiative to improve diversity within the firm.

In collaboration with the Law Society of England and Wales, the firm’s campaign aims to target the untapped potential of the legal careers ’returners’ pool’.

The initiative is aimed at individuals looking to return to the law after taking a career break and who are seeking flexibility to accommodate other commitments, passions or lifestyle choices.

The launch forms part of a wider campaign that Hill Dickinson plans to roll out over the next 12 months to build a more inclusive workforce drawn from a much wider demographic.

The international firm plans to capitalise on the progress it has made in recent years to break down perceived barriers to recruitment, progression and retention.

The announcement follows news of Hill Dickinson being among the 17 law firms who signed the Race Fairness Commitment, a mutual pledge to strive for racial equality within legal organisations.

Carolyn Morgan, director of HR at Hill Dickinson, said: “Lawyers who have taken an extended break from the law – for any number of reasons – often assume their ambition to achieve or maintain a senior position on their return may no longer be within reach. This is something we have seen at our own firm and we are determined to change that.

“We believe there is an untapped pool of talent when it comes to the legal recruitment market, especially for those who may be thinking of resuming their legal career but would like to do so on terms that also suit their lifestyle.

“We have worked hard to consider and remove any assumed barriers to progression and tell returning lawyers that they really can ‘have it all’ at Hill Dickinson. They can have a family, caring commitments, a hobby or passion, all while pursuing a successful legal career at a firm that offers quality work and great benefits.”

Morgan continued: “Hill Dickinson will provide returners with the support they need to regain their confidence, build their client base and restart their legal career. What’s more, and in line with our culture and values, we’re offering part-time and flexible hours so that you can truly build the work-life balance you want.”

Even before the pandemic hit, Hill Dickinson had begun work on a comprehensive range of benefits to aid recruitment and retention and position itself as an employer of choice. Now, in collaboration with the Law Society, the firm will align itself with the Society’s own initiatives to target returners and embark on a series of events to help spread the word.

Speaking for the Law Society, career development lead Rita Oscar said: “The Law Society is committed to retaining talent in the profession and as part of its Recharge programme has been reaching out to returners as a specific target group. In the past 12 months the Law Society has developed several initiatives to support solicitors back to law and has seen interest grow. It is very encouraging that law firms also recognise the untapped potential of attracting this group of people, with their experience of life and the law, back into the workplace on their terms. We are delighted to collaborate with Hill Dickinson to help attract returners back into the profession and ensure that experience isn’t lost.”