Networking in the law: Fostering inclusivity and challenging norms

Guest post by Charlotte Hill, committee member of the London Solicitors Litigation Association and partner at Penningtons Manches Cooper

Hill: Wellbeing and work-life balance to the fore

Networking is an essential aspect of a successful legal career. It allows lawyers to build connections, exchange ideas, and to create opportunities. However, traditional networking events often fall short in considering the diverse needs of legal professionals.

Many people, particularly parents and those with caregiving responsibilities, struggle to attend networking events outside regular working hours and, if they are able to do so, they are often unable or unwilling to have a late-night drinking alcohol under the guise of networking (something which has been and remains common in the legal industry).

These types of events often clash with family commitments, making participation challenging.

Recognising this, firms and networks should diversify event timings to accommodate different schedules – it is time to challenge outdated cultural norms.

A new type of network

This problem is exactly why I co-founded the network, A Mindful Lawyer, at the end of 2023 with Maria Mulla, a barrister at Maitland Chambers.

Our goal is to try and overcome these issues and to allow those who cannot always attend events out of office hours (often in the evening) to network with other lawyers at times and events that may suit them better.

Just six months into our journey, A Mindful Lawyer has organised breakfasts, lunchtime breathwork sessions, morning yoga classes, evening spin classes, and many more events.

The feedback has been extremely positive – the network has allowed lawyers who felt that their networking days were temporarily over, either due to parental or other caregiving responsibilities or because the events were not to their enjoyment, to rejoin the community and to continue to build those important connections alongside a life outside of work.

By promoting events that consider wellbeing and work-life balance, this network encourages inclusivity and in so doing, it helps to reduce mental health issues which commonly arise from stress and modern-day working practices.

It also encourages greater transparency and diversity by encouraging lawyers to prioritise wellbeing, family time and self-care. By doing so, firms create a more diverse and resilient workforce.

Further, it opens traditional networking opportunities to those who prefer to do something else other than share some drinks of an evening – we now have a core collective of people who want us to organise regular spin evenings and others who prefer morning yoga sessions.

We don’t neglect other important topics as well, such as equality, diversity and inclusion – we hosted a leadership workshop in April which was run by Optimising Potential, with a focus on gender equality, something which the London Solicitors Litigation Association has been working hard to promote as well, and we have an event in the making for Pride month.


Inclusive networking events and a mindful approach benefit both lawyers and the legal industry. By challenging outdated norms, we pave the way for greater transparency, well-being, and diversity.

Let’s make inclusivity the new standard, fostering a healthier and more vibrant legal community.

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