Black History Month: Legal profession celebrates influential Black women lawyers

Solicitors in England and Wales will celebrate Black History Month by embracing the “Saluting our Sisters” theme, which highlights the role Black women have had in shaping history, inspiring change and building communities, says The Law Society.

Law Society of England and Wales President Lubna Shuja said that she is  delighted to celebrate Black History Month with her colleagues. She stated that the theme is “pertinent as the profession celebrated 100 years of women in the law at the end of last year and we are now looking to shape the future of our profession”. Shuja continued:

“We have seen many Black lawyers make their mark on the profession, including Baroness Patricia Scotland, who became the first Black woman to be appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1991, Stella Thomas, the first West African woman to be called to the Bar by Middle Temple in 1933, Dame Linda Dobbs, who became the first non-white High Court Judge in the UK in 2004, and of course I. Stephanie Boyce who became the first Black woman President at the Law Society in 2021.

These Black women are just a few pioneers in our profession and there are many more Black lawyers who continue to make an impact.”

In order to welcome young Black voices into the profession, the Law Society has continued its participation in the #10000BlackInterns initiative, which offers paid work experience for young Black people across more than twenty-five sectors – including the law – and create a sustainable cycle of mentorship and sponsorship. Lubna Shuja continued:

“I had the great pleasure of working with our seven Black interns and the Law Society benefitted enormously from their contributions.

The interns made positive contributions to many areas of the business. They were highly motivated, brought fresh perspectives and also created a positive feeling around the organisation.

I wholeheartedly encourage the profession to take part in this initiative. By welcoming new voices and experiences into our businesses, we can better serve our clients and society.

I very much hope the #10000BlackInterns initiative will lead to other firms offering full or part-time employment to their ambitious and dedicated interns, and we can welcome new young Black men and women in our valued profession.”

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