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Comment: Gay lawyers and the quiet revolution you haven’t even heard of

  • Sparkyu1

    As a gay lawyer I have to say… the firms you have experience with are so very different than the ones I have. Happy to tout their equality when convenient – and stuff you in the closet when not.

  • Eli Gourdie

    It’s great to see that so many employers are actually making this concerted effort to be more open and accepting about things. Estate Agents, Lawyers, Solicitors and Barristers have been making this move for years, it’s true but over the past two or three years there has been a great set of leaps and bounds. Well done you guys and it’s nice to know you’re doing well Geraint. It’s been a long time since you were here in the fresh air of your old stomping ground, though nothing has really changed.

  • Vozhak

    The banks have changed their environment to be welcoming to the LGBTQ community sometimes having more stringent protections than what is on the law books and trail blazing protection for gay workers in some rather nasty countries,albeit quietly. The bank I work for has dedicated directors to look after LGBTQ inclusion and homophobic utterances are grounds for immediate dismissal, but you will not find much sympathy here if you are from “snotty” professions.

  • Steven Gregory

    In the U.S. there are many law firms that give lip-service in order to attract top legal talent and top clients who strongly support equal rights. Many have faced legal action, and usually they have settled out-of-court. One particularly large firm in Boulder, Colorado, where I live, held fast and thought they could weather the controversy: their clientele walked away when it became “uncool” to be associated with them, and they were out-of-business in a few months. The lesbian attorney and her allies at the firm formed their own partnership and are doing fine.

    A lot of businesses find it’s poor public policy to nurse bias, regardless of where they conduct business.

  • Jesus_Mohammed

    Hmm. Sounds good but my experience on the ground here in the UK has suggested otherwise. Several law firms I have approached in different places I have lived over the course of the last 15 years have assumed me to be heterosexual, and my partner to be heterosexual similarly. When advised we are homosexual clients the reaction has been one of dismay and tolerance rather than of delight, welcome, and full acceptance.

    As many young people go into law to acquire status in the establishment and in society as go into medicine for the same reasons. Many are drawn to “the law” precisely because of its fusty old-fashioned trappings which they perceive as high-status, and “classy”.

  • Daniel

    Hmm, long experience tells me otherwise. Law firms trot out the appropriate “equality” agenda when it most suits them, giving lip-service to all the right statements. This mysteriously vanishes once back inside the workplace, and of all the career paths remains very much a patriarchal dominated system which relies on status, family origin and establishment rank.
    Sadly this is true of most professions in the UK.

    • Rehan

      I’m not sure I agree with that. Yes, there’s still an element of patriarchy in the UK legal world, but actually women and ethnic minorities are by no means unknown in the upper ranks of the profession, and increasingly gay people too. There are even gay groups within the bigger London firms now, and no pressure for gay lawyers to pretend they’re anything else. Clifford Chance even has an annual art exhibition at Pride time both in London and NYC – that would’ve been unthinkable a couple of decades ago!

      Oddly there now seem to be more successful gay people in law than in the art world.

  • SGL

    My ex works for Slaughter and May, they seem to be a great company to work for, very inclusive. He’s never had a problem with them. Agreed that other professions could take a leaf out of law firms books

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