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DIVERSITY is the different range of perspectives, ideas and experiences that make up the legal workforce. These perspectives, ideas and experiences help law firms and in-house legal functions enhance creative thinking, innovation and problem solving, to adapt and grow in a fast-paced world. Differences can be both obvious and hard-to-see. They can include gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, cultural background, neurology, religion and age.

INCLUSION embeds a culture where all staff experience a strong sense of belonging and affiliation to their law firm or in-house legal function. This requires a safe, positive and caring environment in which everyone’s perspectives, ideas and experiences are understood, embraced and valued. People feel they can relate to a common goal, are fairly treated, can learn and develop without boundaries and are able to contribute their whole, authentic selves in the workplace. Diversity and inclusion are intrinsically linked. A diverse workforce requires an inclusive workplace to thrive. A law firm or in-house legal function which seeks diversity may attract a broad range of people to its workforce, but if inclusion is not part of the organisation’s culture, those people may not realise their potential, or may not be retained and their benefit to the organization is lost. The understanding of the link between diversity and inclusion is often referred to as “diversity of thought”.


There is overwhelming evidence that diverse and inclusive teams outperform others on a wide range of metrics. A law firm or in-house legal function culture that embraces D&I is equipped to attract, develop and retain the best people from an increasingly diverse global talent pool, and will tangibly demonstrate the following:

1. Improved relationships with clients, suppliers and business partners. Like-minded law firms and in-house functions will together build productive relationships that meet each of their needs.

2. Greater flexibility in the face of change as a result of an improved understanding of challenges and opportunities presented by the world at large.

3. Improved collaboration through increased information and know-how sharing. Access to a broader pool of ideas and innovation creates more business value. 4. Happier, more productive lawyers and teams excelling in a safer workplace.

5. Better quality meetings and conversations with clearer output and actions.

6. Enhancements to law firm and business brand and reputation.

7. Staff with better interpersonal skills – especially an increase in self-awareness.

8. People with a learning mindset who proactively seek personal growth and development.

9. Reduced bias and negativity which promotes a “can do” attitude.

10. Flexible and agile working practices which focus on output rather than presenteeism, leading to increased productivity and a better work-life balance.

For law firms and in-house legal teams, this supports the provision of exceptional quality legal advice and more informed risk decision making, to the benefit of our clients and our businesses.

Extract Framework Materials 2020 (see here)

Published on 29 May 24