Diversity in all professions is extremely important, the legal profession is no exception and should be promoted as much as possible.
Diversity in the legal profession is no longer seen as an added bonus, rather a necessity that helps to improve the overall workability of the legal profession. Legal professionals should recognise the significance of creating a comfortable working environment for everyone, regardless of their background, culture or lifestyle.
Diversity in the legal profession plays a very important role in regard to formulating new approaches and tactics when working. When brought together, individuals from different walks of life can compare their skills, building on each others strengths, whilst improving their weaknesses. Each individual can bring their own style and methodology which leads to more innovative ways of thinking. This in turn, helps to enhance the quality of the service provided and the work produced. It has long been recognised that clients appreciate diversity in the workplace. Individuals from different backgrounds can contribute to highlighting certain cultural customs or preferences which may have otherwise gone unnoticed and thus, diversity within the legal profession helps us to have a broader understanding of the world around us. This helps organisations to adapt accordingly when presented with less familiar situations.
Furthermore, diversity in the legal profession helps to prevent discrimination and promotes inclusiveness. There is also evidence that suggests that effectively managing diversity in the workplace (including the legal profession) can contribute to increased staff retention and productivity. Not only can diversity prove to enhance the responsiveness of organisations to diverse clients and help to improve their ability to cope with change, it can further develop their creativity also. Being exposed to different cultural customs can enable an organisation to develop more effective ways of identifying problems and how to deal with them. For organisations to succeed in the global market place they must embrace a wide variation of people. In order to attract individuals who possess the appropriate skills they must consider a diverse group of people, this will help to give them a competitive advantage within their profession – further highlighting why diversity in the legal profession is so significant.
Diversity in the workplace also paints a very good public image. In a profession so highly regarded as the legal profession, it is important that organisations demonstrate good values and high levels of social responsibility. This allows for influence over other types of businesses to promote diversity within their professions too. Diversity in the legal profession means that there is increased accessibility for hard-working and determined individuals to be able unlock our potential and achieve our aspirations of securing successful roles in the legal profession.
Last but not least, diversity keeps life interesting. It enables us to be inspired and exposed to a wide range of thoughts and opinions that could potentially influence our own. It enables us to become more receptive to new and exciting ideas and increases our ability to adapt when necessary. Diversity also helps us to identify the differences between us and embrace them, appreciating that we are all unique.
Faiza Bishi, aspiring solicitor at the University of Hertfordshire