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Every door is open if you PUSH – Increasing diversity in the legal profession

President of Law Society of England and Wales makes special visit to leading Northamptonshire law firm.

Leading law firm Wilson Browne Solicitors welcomed I. Stephanie Boyce, the President of the Law Society of England and Wales, who became President in March of last year. She is the first Black office holder, the sixth female, the first person of colour and the second in-house solicitor in almost fifty years to become president of the Law Society.

The primary focus for her term is the importance of increasing diversity in the legal profession and ensuring young people from disadvantaged backgrounds have opportunities in the sector. As she recently said “every door is open if you PUSH: you Persevere Until Something Happens.”

Stephanie honoured Wilson Browne Solicitors with a visit, following in the footsteps of another recent President, Christina Blacklaws in 2019. She stepped up as president ahead of schedule and has contended with many societal and legal changes including the ongoing effects of the pandemic and latterly the situation in Ukraine.

She has spoken at length about the challenges and setbacks she faced trying to break into the legal industry.

“It’s not about how many times I’ve got knocked down, the lesson was in how I got up. I am determined to use my experiences to help others through driving diversity in all its forms, within the legal profession.

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

Kevin Rogers, Chair of Wilson Browne Solicitors comments:

“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.”

In times when everyone was talking about “the new normal”, Wilson Browne Solicitors had previously used the strap-line “we’re not new and we’ve never been normal”: The firm may not be ‘normal’ in the way it goes about doing things and showing the professional but down to earth and friendly face of legal services, but in other respects they are incredibly normal. With a mix of lawyers who have worked on food production lines, sold carpets, served food and pulled pints in the hospitality trade…you couldn’t get more normal. Over 60 years ago, a person who started in the post room of the firm, progressed to Chair of The Board; others have succeeded regardless of background – whether they are the children of a refugee coalminer, the son of a market trader, or compelled to leave their country of birth for whatever reason.

Modern Day Large Law Firm

The Wilson Browne of 2022 provides modern legal services to individuals and businesses from 6 offices across Northamptonshire and Leicester, with many of their lawyers proudly included in the ‘who’s who’ of law, the Legal 500.  I. Stephanie Boyce met with a cross-section of lawyers, at different stages of their careers (SQE or LPC trainee through to solicitor, Associate, Senior Associate, Junior Partner and Equity Partner). She had the chance to hear first-hand their personal stories, and how the firm has supported them.”

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