Irwin Mitchell backs Next 100 Years film series celebrating next generation of women lawyers

updated on 18 May 2022

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The Next 100 Years project has launched a new film series, supported by full-service law firm Irwin Mitchell LLP, which “celebrates the diversity of successful women lawyers and shines a light on underrepresented groups”.

The first film in the Next 100 Voices series features Abimbola Johnson, criminal defence barrister at 25 Bedford Row. Johnson was appointed as chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s new independent scrutiny and oversight board to assess police forces across the country on the implementation of an action plan on race.

In the first of the Next 100 Voices film series, Johnson considers her experience being “the only other Black face in the court room”, the need for the legal industry to reflect the society in which it serves, how junior lawyers are “challenging the concept of professionalism” and the importance of bringing your true self to work. Johnson talks about the impact of George Floyd’s murder and the role it played in encouraging her to think about how she could contribute towards a necessary change.

The Next 100 Voices series will feature 10 interviews with emerging leaders in the law, designed to highlight their motivations and journey into the profession. The women featured will come from a variety of areas of law, including in-house, private practice and the Bar.

Founder of the Next 100 Years Dana Denis-Smith said: “The Next 100 Years’ new series of films looks to the future, asking the next generation of women leaders about what they are doing to create change, both in the profession and in their own area of practice. We have a come a long way since Ivy Williams was called to the Bar 100 years ago and women lawyers like Abimbola Johnson are leading the way in the continued fight for equality and diversity for the next generation.”

Alison Eddy, Irwin Mitchell’s London office managing partner said: “It’s so important that aspiring lawyers from all backgrounds can dream big. By sharing stories and celebrating the success of women from marginalised backgrounds and identities, we’re demonstrating that it is possible to overcome obstacles and that dreams can become reality.”

The Next 100 Years project aims to accelerate the pace of change in the profession, building on the success of the First 100 Years project.