Family Law Committee Report

Claire Darley

Committee Chair

We have achieved our stated aim over the last 12 months, which was to make the membership of the Committee more representative of the members we serve.

In July 2021, Karen Bailey, Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (“EDI”) Committee joined our meeting. We had prepared our EDI strategy. Our main objective was to make the membership more inclusive by encouraging younger solicitors and professionals to join.

We did this by holding the “Meet the Committee” event in June 2022. The majority of our 12 Committee members attended and it was a huge success.

We also furthered our mission statement, and held L&D talks at the event and enjoyed networking afterwards.

The event was very well attended, and as a consequence, we have secured a 50% increase in our members. Some members have stepped down and six new members have joined.

We engaged our audience by simply covering who we are, what we do and how we have made a difference to improve efficiency for all. We then extended an open invitation to members to consider how they might like to get involved. whether on the main Committee, or as part of a sub-committee.

In line with our Protocol, we have promoted EDI by:

  • having an open forum to provide members with an opportunity to join/express an interest in joining;
  • the fact that there are now members of the Committee offering a legal aid service;
  • representative membership – members are from small, medium and large firms in the City Centre, and covering a greater region than ever before; and
  • we are more inclusive having gained mostly younger members to redress the balance of a maturing Committee.

By holding our event, we have raised awareness of the Committee and the greatness of our unique network, that is the Birmingham Law Society.

There is, of course, more we can do to be more inclusive of all professionals working in the family justice system, and with the assistance of our members and our unique networks we will work to ensure this is the case.