The July legal and advice sector roundtable included contributions from the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Equally Ours about the equality and diversity challenges the sector faces. A common theme is that since the pandemic some client groups have ‘disappeared’ from legal and advice service provision.
A key priority for LawWorks is to review our own approach to equality, diversity, and inclusion, internally and externally, and strengthen our commitment to ending all forms of discrimination and prejudice, including institutional racism and other barriers to inclusion. Recent work undertaken includes:
- Equality Act training;
- a resource for clinics on designing accessible services; and
- a new bilingual newsletter for LawWorks Cymru (the next phase of our work in Wales will focus on delivering clinics in health settings, and on co-production approaches).
There is much more to do, especially on issues of race and reaching diverse communities. The recent ACEVO and Voice4Change England ‘Home Truths’ report highlighted the significant and unresolved issues of racism in the charity sector. A conversation about equality and diversity is profoundly important for the pro bono sector and for access to justice, and something we will engage with our stakeholders on in the coming months.