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Law Society president hails “uplifting” diversity at county law firm

THE IMPORTANCE of increasing diversity across the law profession is the main focus of the president of the Law Society of England & Wales.

I Stephanie Boyce is committed to ensuring that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are able to take up opportunities within the legal profession. “Every door is open if you PUSH. You persevere until something happens,” she said.

Ms Boyce was speaking on a visit to Northamptonshire law firm Wilson Browne Solicitors. She discussed her career with staff and management at the firm Boyce and met with a lawyers  at different stages of their careers, from trainee through to partners to hear their personal stories and how the firm has supported them.

“Meeting the team at Wilson Browne Solicitors and hearing about some of their journeys struck a chord with me,” she said. “To see solicitors and lawyers from all walks of life and backgrounds fulfilling their ambition with the support of the firm was uplifting.”

Ms Boyce became Law Society president in March last year and is the first black office holder, the sixth female, the first person of colour and the second in-house solicitor in almost 50 years to become president. She has spoken at length about the challenges and setbacks she faced trying to break into the legal industry.

“It is not about how many times I have got knocked down. The lesson was in how I got up,” she said. “I am determined to use my experiences to help others through driving diversity in all its forms within the legal profession.”

Wilson Browne’s chair Kevin Rogers said: “It has been inspiring to hear Stephanie speak on the subject of increasing diversity. We have people from a multitude of backgrounds, many of whom would not have been able to train or qualify unless they had been given the opportunity and the funding to do so.

“With over 180 staff, I genuinely hope that we can be held up as a large firm that has really delivered on Stephanie’s agenda and that others can have a similar aspiration.”

The firm also welcomed then-Law Society president Christina Blacklaws to Northamptonshire in 2019.

Pictured above: (back row) John Punni, partner and board member; Tom Warrender, partner and board member;; Sam Brett, senior associate; Yasmin Ross-Harris, licensed conveyancer;  Hayley Mauro, partner and head of commercial litigation; Wayne Jenkins, business development and marketing director.

(middle row) Rachel Leatherland, trainee solicitor; Jenny Woodruff, partner and head of conveyancing; Sabina Baba Ampofo, member engagement lead at The Law Society of England & Wales.

(front row) Tosin Onaola, paralegal GCILEx; i.Stepanie Boyce ; Kevin Rogers; Nina Wilson, partner.

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