Black History Month

By | 26 October 2020

Browse the following links to discover how the University of Oxford, the University’s Faculty of Law, legal institutions, the Inns of Court and law societies are marking Black History Month this year. Explore the range of events (many online) listed by the University, Black History Month and Blacknet, several of which celebrate Black excellence in the legal profession. You will also find links to articles and reports addressing equality and diversity in the legal profession and the Bar, as well as societies and groups for Black lawyers.

1. University of Oxford
2. Legal Institutions
3. Inns of Court
4. Events related to law within wider organisations
5. Societies/Groups for Black lawyers

1. University of Oxford:

2. Legal Institutions

  • The Law Society:
    • Black History Month: a collaborative perspective – “We asked members of the profession to tell us what Black History Month means to them and what it represents.”
    • Ethnic Minority Lawyers – “We provide an opportunity for solicitors from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and their allies to have their voice for heard, allowing us to represent you effectively”.
    • Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division – “The Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division (EMLD) supports and promotes solicitors and their allies through the provision of career-enhancing events, information and networking opportunities.”
  • Women in the Law UK:
    • Sally Penni, founder of Women in the Law UK, hosts the podcast ‘Talking Law’ – speaking to leading lawyers about their experiences.

3. The Inns of Court

  • The Inner Temple:
    • Black History Month 2020: The Inner Temple asked members and students how the Inn can “do better” in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and as a result are taking actions to develop their inclusivity. “For Black History Month this year, we will be running a social media campaign to highlight black members of the Inn, past and present, who have shaped our justice system and blazed a trail for barristers of the future. Our Library are running a social media campaign to highlight the appalling incidence of deaths in custody of black people in this country.”

4. Events related to law within wider organisations:

5. Societies and groups for Black lawyers 1:

  • Black Solicitors Network :
    • “The Black Solicitors Network (BSN) was formed in 1995 to promote the interests of black solicitors, provide professional support and share information, inform and influence D&I best practice and participate in consultations initiated by The Law Society, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Government and other regulatory bodies in relation to matters which affect black and minority ethnic solicitors.
    • A not-for-profit company, the Black Solicitors Network aims to be the primary voice of black solicitors in England and Wales.”
  • Learning for Lawyers Redefined
    • “REDEFINED – Learning for Lawyers is an alternative learning platform for aspiring lawyers from underrepresented backgrounds.
    • “We deliver a range of webinars & masterclasses facilitated by experienced practitioners, trainee lawyers & other professionals.”
  • BME Legal
    • “Founded in Hull, 2015, by Adeola Fadipe. The not-for-profit group is committed to supporting under-represented groups gain access to support and opportunities that will enable them to obtain pupillage at the Bar of England and Wales.”
  • Black Women in Law
    • “This group is to connect black women in the legal profession: barristers, judges, solicitors, paralegals and law students. This is an opportunity for us to support black women in their legal careers and to provide guidance to those who are looking to begin a legal career.”
  • Urban Lawyers
    • “Urban Lawyers is a charity founded by Tunde Okewale MBE, Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. The charity is managed by a team of dedicated volunteers, some of who are practising Barristers and Solicitors.”
    • Urban Lawyers host promotional legal careers events for students, deliver a variety of workshops including career development, research young people’s attitudes to the criminal justice system, and offer a ‘law in action’ curriculum available to be taught in universities as well as schools.
  • African Women Lawyers’ Association
    • “The African Women Lawyers’ Association (AWLA) exists to help women of African and Caribbean descent who want to enter the legal profession and who want to progress their careers. We aim to provide support, advice, mentoring, training and networking opportunities for all of our members.
    • Our mission is to transform the careers and lives of African women lawyers around the world. We also seek to leave our members feeling refreshed, empowered and optimistic about their lives, their futures and their legal careers.”
  • Bridging the Bar
    • Our Mission: “At Bridging the Bar we believe that for any organisation to reach its full potential, it must reflect the diverse society that we live in. Whilst we recognise that a lot of good work has been done to create greater opportunities at the Bar, there is still a need to incentivise – and support – the organisations, and individuals doing this important work in isolation and the students from non-traditional backgrounds aspiring to a career at the Bar.”
  • BME at the Bar
    • “In 2018, a group of Black barristers practicing in the East Midlands met to seek to increase the number of Black practitioners within our profession.”

1. Some of these groups were found through the article Black Lawyers on Working in the UK’s Criminal Justice System.