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InterLaw Diversity Forum

The InterLaw Diversity Forum works to foster inclusion for diverse talent working in the legal sector, and to promote meritocracy in all sectors by working to 'level the playing field' in order to create environments where the best talent can succeed.

Since its founding in 2008 the InterLaw Diversity Forum has expanded its scope beyond LGBT+ to encompass all strands of diversity and inclusion, including Race & Ethnicity (BAME), Disability, Gender, and social mobility, with a particular focus on cultural change in the workplace and 'multiple identities'/intersectionality. 

Events and membership are free and open to anyone working in the legal sector, both lawyers (including private practice and in-house counsel), as well as non-lawyers and business services staff. 

The InterLaw Diversity Forum currently has more than 6,500 members and supporters from over 300 law firms and chambers, and from over 500 corporates and financial institutions.

Since the launch of the InterLaw Diversity Forum, the legal sector’s performance in Stonewall’s Work Equality Index (WEI) has dramatically improved:

•In 2007 there were no law firms represented in the Top 100 Employers, and the legal sector ranked second from the bottom.

•In 2017 there were 17 law firms recognized in the Top 100 Employers, and the legal sector was the top-ranking sector overall.  

Stonewall has stated: “A major part of the movement forward for the [legal] sector has been the InterLaw Diversity Forum. It helped provide a sector-specific focus."   This success has encouraged the InterLaw Diversity Forum to expand its offering.

WHAT WE DO

  • The InterLaw Diversity Forum holds monthly panel-discussion meetings for both our LGBT+ Network and our Race and Ethnicity (BAME) Network.

  • Our ENABLE (dis)Ability Network launched in December 2017 and holds bi-monthly meetings.

  • The InterLaw Diversity Forum collaborated with The Law Society in 2018 on our Gender Equality Initiative, from which we will launch our new Women's Network in 2020.​

  • The Apollo Project holds an annual, cross-sector competition seeking out evidence-based examples of best practice for inclusive workplace cultures, and provides these as a free resource that other organisations can adapt to their specific needs.  ​

  • The Apollo Leadership Institute is a global hub for General Counsel and senior in-house lawyers from all sectors, and focuses on inclusive leadership and culture, diversity and inclusion, and the creation of meritocratic workplaces.

  • InterLawConnect, our new online mentoring programme, has been specifically designed to help diverse lawyers with their career progression, professional development, and networking skills.

  • InterLaw Diversity Forum Student Lab is a one-day event connecting high-potential diverse students from all universities with their peers, law firms, corporate institutions, and barrister chambers through panel events, interactive skills-based workshops, and a job fair.

  • Our 2012 report, Career Progression in the Legal Sector, was updated in 2018 with new research data and will be published in 2020.

  • The Purple Reign Project is a multi-media initiative of the InterLaw Diversity Forum which uses photography, film, biographies, and podcasts to capture the images, ideas, and stories of inspiring LGBT+ and ally role models drawn from the fields of law, business, activism, the arts, government and sports.

  • Our annual charity fundraiser, the Winter Carnival, has to date raised over £400,000 for the Albert Kennedy Trust and Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline.  We have raised over £50,000 for other charities, as well.

OUR TEAM

Daniel Winterfeldt QC (Hon), Founder and Chair, InterLaw Diversity Forum;  Partner, US Securities & Global Capital Markets, Reed Smith

Laura Durrant, Deputy Chair, InterLaw Diversity Forum; Consulting Director, Howlett Brown

Usha Puri-Dewage, Head of Strategy, Leadership, and Learning Development, InterLaw Diversity Forum; Manager of Professional Development, Cooley LLP

Jonathan Leonhart, Head of Operations, InterLaw Diversity Forum

Stephen Manion, Creative Advisor, InterLaw Diversity Forum

Co-leads of the Apollo Leadership Institute

Gretchen Bellamy, Senior Director - Education, Operations, and Initiatives, University Office for Diversity & Inclusion, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill; Special Advisor to the American Bar Association's Commission on Racial & Ethnic Diversity in the Profession; President & Consulting Director, Bellamy management Consulting LLC

Lisa Webley, Professor of Legal Education and Research; Head of Birmingham Law School

Daniel Winterfeldt,  InterLaw Diversity Forum

Lead of our LGBT+ Network

Daniel Winterfeldt, InterLaw Diversity Forum

Co-leads of our Race & Ethnicity (BAME) Network

Daniel Winterfeldt, InterLaw Diversity Forum

Sheldon Mills, Director of Competition, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Co-leads of our ENABLE (dis)Ability Network

Adelina Ferrara, Executive Director, Deutsche Bank

Katherine Ramo, Associate, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang

Daniel Winterfeldt, InterLaw Diversity Forum

Co-leads of Trans*Mission (Trans* Initiative)

Rachel Reese, Director, Global Butterflies

Daniel Winterfeldt, InterLaw Diversity Forum

Research Leads

Lisa Webley, Professor of Legal Education and Research; Head of Birmingham Law School

Daniel Winterfeldt, InterLaw Diversity Forum

Apollo Project Lead

Daniel Winterfeldt, InterLaw Diversity Forum


AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

  • InterLaw Diversity Forum was shortlisted for "Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion" at the Law Society Excellence Awards (October 2019).​

  • Our Race & Ethnicity (BAME) Network was awarded “Outstanding BAME Employee Network of the Year” at the UK Diversity Legal Awards (2017).​·       

  • InterLaw Diversity Forum was "Highly Commended" in the category "Innovation in Human Resources" for our Apollo Project and Purple Reign exhibition at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards (2016). ​

  • InterLaw Diversity Forum was shortlisted for our Purple Reign project at the Law Society Excellence Awards (2014).

  • InterLaw Diversity Forum was shortlisted for "Excellence in Equality and Diversity" and "Excellence in Community Service" at the Law Society Excellence Awards (2010).​

  • InterLaw Diversity Forum was shortlisted for "Excellence in Equality and Diversity" at the Law Society Excellence Awards (2009).

  • InterLaw Diversity Forum was "Highly Commended’’ for "CSR Programme of the Year” at the Legal Business Awards  (2009).

  • InterLaw Diversity Forum was “Standout Winner” for "Diversity" at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards (2008).

  • InterLaw Diversity Forum was ‘’Highly Commended’’ for "Diversity and Inclusion" at the Law Society Excellence Awards  (2008).

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