By Legal Futures’ Associates CILEx 
The legal professions of England and Wales – solicitors, barristers and chartered legal executives – will celebrate Pride events virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a ‘Home and Away’ theme.
The Law Society of England and Wales, the Bar Council of England and Wales and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) will release a series of video and blog interviews with members from each city whose Pride they were due to attend – Birmingham, London, Bristol, Newcastle, Leeds, Cardiff and Manchester – to highlight the experiences of LGBT+ lawyers across the country. Having this new format means we can mark even more Prides – in particular Black Pride and Trans Pride Brighton.
Pride events have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The #LegalPride2020 blogs and videos for each location will feature a solicitor, barrister and chartered legal executive from that region and will be released at around the same time as the event’s original date. Content for Birmingham will be put out first, as the city’s Pride was scheduled for the end of May.
They will run under the banner of #LegalPride2020, alongside podcasts featuring interviews with LGBT+ lawyers overseas – showing how Pride events in different jurisdictions are being celebrated during the Covid-19 pandemic, and highlighting the issues faced by LGBT+ lawyers.
Members of the professions will be encouraged to use the hashtag #LegalPride2020 and #Equalunderthelaw and share their own thoughts on celebrating Pride this year and what it is like to be LGBT+ in the profession, or an ally of the LGBT+ community.
President of the Law Society of England and Wales, Simon Davis, said: “We are proud to advocate for LGBT+ rights in the legal profession and in wider society – and this year, we will virtually celebrate Pride across England and Wales, whilst also linking up with lawyers overseas.
“Now more than ever, we must continue to take a stand. Around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on LGBT+ communities.
“It is vital to show the public the legal profession will constantly and unequivocally support LGBT+ people and their rights.”
Chair of the Bar Council of England and Wales, Amanda Pinto QC said: “The Bar Council is delighted to participate in this year’s virtual PRIDE, celebrating diversity, inclusion and the contribution that the LGBT+ community makes to the legal profession and society.
“Though we cannot physically march together this year, we will celebrate PRIDE as much as ever, share the experiences of LGBT+ lawyers far and wide and continue to work towards making the profession equal and accessible to everyone. All people must be treated equally and the law must be applied equitably. The Bar Council is proud to mark PRIDE alongside the LGBT+ community.”
CILEx President Matthew Foster said: “For over 50 years, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives has championed the importance of diversity in the legal community in England, Wales and elsewhere.
I am proud that we continue to promote professional unity, co-operation and mutual assistance amongst those working in law and, whilst marching together this year is not possible, we will be facilitating a series of podcasts – from the UK and overseas – that will see our members tell their stories about what it is like to be a LGBT+ lawyer in the profession today.
We want to continue to highlight the work of lawyers defending LGBT+ rights, and to recognise the LGBT+ community’s contribution to the legal sector. CILEx wants to send a clear message that we are an open and accepting legal community and all are equal under the law.”
Original dates for 2020 Pride events:
- Birmingham – 23 May
- London – 27 June
- UK Black Pride – 28 June
- Bristol – 11 July
- Newcastle – 18 July
- Trans Pride Brighton – 18 July
- Leeds – 2 August
- Cardiff/Pride Cymru – 29 August
- Manchester – 29 August