Diversity and inclusivity in the legal sector are paramount for building a just, innovative, and vibrant future.
However, despite steady advancements, progress remains slow. So how can you take the first steps towards changing this for good?
By joining Clio for a 60-minute panel webinar, “The Power of a Diverse Law Firm” which was hosted on Wednesday, July 12th at 2pm BST.
Erin Leonty, VP of Social Purpose at Clio, will moderate a panel of industry experts from the UK including; Dana Denis-Smith, Founder of Obelisk Support; Jonathan Patel, Senior Consultant of Talent at Aspiring Solicitors; and Naeema Yaqoob Sajid, Solicitor, Founder of Diversity+ and Co-founder of The Scottish Ethnic Minorities Lawyers Association (SEMLA).
Together, they’ll delve into:
- The current state of diversity and inclusion in the UK legal industry
- Obstacles facing law firms and individuals regarding diversity
- Practical actions small and large firms can implement to foster and maintain diversity and inclusion
- How technology and hybrid work models can democratise legal practice and promote inclusivity
This webinar will equip you with essential insights and strategies to shape your firm’s diversity and inclusion practices, contributing to a more representative and resilient legal profession.
Duration: 60 minutes
We run Clio webinars using the Zoom platform with the ability to enable closed captions, however if you have other accessibility questions please let us know by emailing [email protected]
Watch the Recording
Dana Denis-Smith is the CEO of Obelisk Support and the founder of the First 100 Years campaign. A TedX speaker, Dana is regularly invited to address industry events and comment in the media on gender equality, entrepreneurship and legal technology. In 2020,she was recognised for her work as a women’s advocate and champion of gender equality with the Special Contribution Award at the Women in Law Awards. In 2019, she was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Legal Services by The Legal 500 and, in 2018, she was voted Legal Personality of the Year at the LexisNexis Awards. Most recently, Dana has been shortlisted in the 2022 FT Innovative Lawyers Europe awards and she was awarded her second honorary doctorate in laws from the University of Glasgow in recognition of her contribution, achievements and positive impact on the legal profession in June 2022.
Senior Consultant - Talent
Working predominantly in the Talent Development Team at Aspiring Solicitors, Jonathan is responsible for leading all our mentoring schemes with partner law firms and corporates. Jonathan also created the market leading Virtual Diversity Law Fair, which regularly brings together over 50 law firms and legal teams, and hundreds of students every year. Jonathan worked as a commercial property solicitor in London before deciding to join Aspiring Solicitors, to help aspiring trainee and qualified solicitors from diverse backgrounds prepare for and secure work placements, vacation schemes, training contracts and Associate roles with some of the UK and Ireland’s top law firms, legal departments and in-house legal teams.
Naeema Yaqoob Sajid
Diversity+ and The Scottish Ethnic Minorities Lawyers Association (SEMLA)
Naeema left school at the age of 17 with a few qualifications. She got married and decided to study an SNC in business studies and later a HND in legal studies before resitting high school exams to enable her study for a law degree. She enrolled at the University of Edinburgh, with a baby in tow. She completed her law degree with 2 young children and escaped academia for a short period to build up much needed work experience and funds to complete her legal training.
Her role as a parliamentary researcher, and later an advisor, within the reconvened Scottish Parliament in 1999, further whet her appetite to qualify as a solicitor. Naeema, has over 20 years of experience in the Scottish legal sector. She commenced her legal career as a Procurator Fiscal Depute (public prosecutor) and later moved to the private sector where she specialised in child and family law and became a partner of a large Scottish law firm.
Naeema is an avid campaigner for change and is particularly passionate about making improvements in the legal industry ensuring it is fit to face future challenges. Her specialism lies in diversity, equity and inclusion and the additional barriers intersectionality can create.
She uses her lived experience, interpersonal skills and business insights to navigate positive change to workplace cultures and structures. With that aim in mind, Naeema created
Diversity+, a bespoke consultancy firm designed to assist organisations, specifically within the legal and financial sector, make improvements in their diversity and inclusion footprint, both internally and externally, thereby better meeting the needs of their stakeholders.
Naeema is also a co-founder of The Scottish Ethnic Minorities Lawyers Association and a member of the Law Advancement Board at the University of Edinburgh. Naeema’s most recent campaign, “Look Up and Beyond” has been well received. It is a project designed to help women stay and progress their careers within the legal and financial sector. Its aim is to work with individuals and organisations to break down cultural and structural barriers which prevent female talent from flourishing, by using relatable D, E & I programmes with cross industry support.
VP, Social Purpose
Erin is the Vice President of Social Purpose at Clio. Erin is a purpose-driven leader with over 20 years of rich cross-industry experience and social advocacy. Her career spans strategy, operational excellence, and leadership development in the finance, industrial, management consulting and non-profit sectors and includes her own consulting practice focused on executive level DEI Advisory. Erin uses She/Her pronouns, loves singing and being in nature and resides in Edmonton (Treaty 6) with her partner, two young daughters and fur babies.
If you would like to submit questions for our panellists ahead of the event please email them to [email protected] and we’d be happy to cover them during the Q&A portion of the webinar.