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Alumna Bridget Garrood with the LGBTQ+ and Law Committee at the Launch event 

LGBTQ+ and Law

A new student-led initiative which aims to give support to those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and interested in a career in law is gaining momentum on campus. The group hosted a launch event in September supported by a panel which included alumni, who shared their experiences as LGBTQ+ in the legal profession to an audience of around 100 people.

The initiative will host further events which promote diversity and enable LGBTQ+ students to meet LGBTQ+ barristers and solicitors. It also aims to promote discussion within the wider law school and draw attention to the inequalities and challenges that LGBTQ+ members face within the law system and profession through providing a platform to talk about these issues amongst students, staff, and professionals.

The LGBTQ+ and Law Founding Committee report here on the success of the launch event and on their future plans:

‘The 26th of September marked the start of our initiative as we had our launch event at the Rougemont Hotel, having heard from speakers from various legal sectors about their experiences as LGBTQ+ in the legal profession. That week being National Inclusion Week, we could not have chosen a better time to bring their stories to light. 

We want to express our utmost gratitude and admiration to our speakers and panellists – Jonathan Cooper OBE, Dr Steven Vaughan, Carl Soan, Bridget Garrood, Rachel Mullan Lipman, Justin Farrance, Helen Randall, Georgina Savill-James, Lucy James, and Brie Steven-Hoare QC – who brilliantly shared stories and advice to all of us. Through all the laughs and stunned silences, to say you all have inspired us is an understatement. 

As much as we are grateful for our speakers, we also extend our thanks to everyone who attended the event and asked thought-provoking questions to the panel – we hope that you had an insightful and enjoyable evening; it was amazing to see you there to support us and our initiative!

A massive thanks is richly deserved by our sponsors Allen & Overy, Trowers & Hamlins, Simons Muirhead and Burton, Baker McKenzie, the Exeter Law School (and the University of Exeter Alumni  for tirelessly supporting this initiative – your support has truly been invaluable, and we thank you for working with us every step of the way.

It was such an amazing night – but this is just the beginning. 

As an initiative, we aim to provide further support and opportunities to LGBTQ+ students who are interested in pursuing a legal career. We have recently launched our Career Mentor Scheme, in which we match a student with a legal professional who is working in their specified sector. 

Not only that, but we also aim to further explore the relationship between the law and the LGBTQ+ community and starting that conversation throughout the university. There will be more speaker and discussion events this year focusing on this – namely a speaker event on LGBTQ+ refugees and human trafficking as well as a discussion event on the complex relationship between trans people and the UK prison system. 

We hope to have your notwithstanding support as we work towards diversity and inclusivity not just within the legal profession, but in the public at large.’

Date: 29 October 2019