Awards Ceremony

21 November

Award Categories

Deadline for Entries: 31 JULY 2018

The UK Diversity Legal Awards are open to organisations of all sizes, and submissions are welcomed from firms, chambers, in-house legal teams (private and public sector), and suppliers to the legal profession as well as individuals within the legal profession. Submissions that cover one, some, or all aspects of diversity (including gender, ethnicity, social mobility, disability and sexual orientation) are invited.

Recruiting Diverse Talent
This award recognises an organisation that has demonstrated an innovative approach to attracting and hiring talent from diverse backgrounds. Submissions should outline how gaps or issues were identified as well as how solutions were decided and implemented. Evidence should be provided of significant and, where possible, measureable impact. Additionally, submissions should articulate how the organisation’s approach to recruiting diverse talent fits into the bigger picture of recruiting talent more broadly.

A strong submission might demonstrate a whole-business approach. Ideally the impact will affect more than one diversity strand, although this is not essential. Judges will also be looking for evidence of policies, procedures, or systems that have been established to facilitate on-going improvements.

Managing Diverse Talent
This award recognises an organisation that has demonstrated an innovative approach to the identification, support, development, progression, and retention of diverse talent. Submissions should outline how gaps or issues were identified as well as how solutions were decided and implemented. Evidence should be provided of significant and, where possible, measureable impact. Particular attention will be given to data from the past three years. Additionally, submissions should articulate how the organisation’s approach to managing diverse talent fits into the bigger picture of managing talent more broadly.

A strong submission might demonstrate a whole-business approach. Ideally the impact will affect more than one diversity strand, although this is not essential. Judges will also be looking for evidence of policies, procedures, or systems that have been established to facilitate on-going improvements.

Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year

This award recognises an initiative that has made a tangible difference in creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace, with the intention of highlighting best practice for the legal profession. In addition to outlining the rationale behind the approach taken, submissions should provide evidence of clear objectives and measurable outcomes (in the form of relevant statistical data). A special effort will be made to contextualise an initiative’s success in relation to type of organisation. Judges will consider recognising initiatives for each of the following categories if they determine that the submissions are strong enough to warrant this:

  • Law firms (large)
  • Law firms (sole practitioner / SME)
  • Chambers
  • In house (private sector)
  • In house (public sectors)

A strong submission might demonstrate a whole-business approach. Ideally the impact will affect more than one diversity strand, although this is not essential. Judges will also be looking for evidence of policies, procedures, or systems that have been established to facilitate on-going improvements.

Outstanding Multi-cultural/BAME Employee Network

This award recognises the outstanding contribution of a multi-cultural / BAME employee network in the legal profession to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Submissions should include context on the purpose and objectives of the network, measures it has taken to contribute to a more diverse and inclusive workplace, and evidence of its impact. A strong submission might demonstrate how the network has gained buy-in from key stakeholders, collaborated with other strands, and aligned the needs of its members with value to the business.

ACCESS TO JUSTICE

It is becoming increasingly difficult for ordinary people to obtain access to justice following cutbacks to legal aid, closure of courts and legal advice centres, increased high court and tribunal fees and other reforms. The result is an escalating crisis over access to justice in the UK.

The award recognises an ambitious initiative or project that has effectively and demonstrably provided (and/or improved) access to justice for disadvantaged, marginalised and/or vulnerable members in society in the UK. Submissions should outline how issues were identified and solutions were developed and implemented – explain the project, its significance, set out its goals and provide solid evidence that these goals have been achieved, or are being achieved and, where possible, with measurable impact. Please provide a written reference that illustrates the progress or success of this project or initiative.

BSN Rising Star

The award recognises an exceptional BSN lawyer at the beginning of his/her career who stands out both in terms of strong legal, business, and client skills as well as leadership qualities and potential. Individuals must be trainee solicitors or solicitors, barristers or in-house counsel in the early years of their practice. In addition to their behaviour within their firm, chambers or organisation, individuals must also provide evidence of leadership in the community. This may include pro bono work, community projects and/or self-started initiatives. Written references supporting submissions for this category will be required.

Categories included in the 2018 BSN Rising Star Awards are as follows:

• BSN Rising Stars – Private Practice
• BSN Rising Stars – Chambers
• BSN Rising Stars – In-house
• BSN Rising Stars – Entrepreneurship

Diversity Champion

This award recognises an individual who has made a significant contribution to diversity within and across the legal profession over the past three years. The intention is to highlight both the leadership demonstrated and the best practice they have exemplified (through the impact of their work). This category is open to any person within a firm, chambers, in-house team or supplier to the industry. Nominations in the form of a biography will be considered as acceptable, as too will a case study outlining significant achievements. Please provide a written reference that illustrates the progress or success of this project or initiative.

BSN Lawyer of the Year

This award recognises an established BSN lawyer (solicitor, barrister, or in-house counsel) who stands out for their business impact, demonstrated leadership, and the contribution they have made towards BAME diversity. Judges will be looking for evidence that they have demonstrated unflagging commitment to supporting the professional advancement of BAME lawyers and/or those seeking to enter the profession as well as championed the cause of diversity across and/or beyond the legal profession. Please provide a written reference that illustrates the progress or success of this project or initiative.

BSN Lifetime Achievement

This award recognises an exceptional BSN lawyer who has made a substantial, measurable, and lasting contribution to the legal profession over a lifetime and is widely considered an inspiration to others. He/she must be an accomplished solicitor or barrister, an expert in their field of practice, and a pioneering leader. In addition, he/she must have demonstrated unflagging commitment to supporting the professional advancement of BAME lawyers and those seeking to enter the profession as well as championed the cause of diversity across and beyond the legal profession.

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