Special interest law associations are coming together supported by the Law Institute of Victoria to promote the inclusion of members from different cultural backgrounds at all levels of the legal profession.
The Law Institute of Victoria is backing special interest law groups to amplify diversity in law says LIV president Sam Pandya, the first lawyer of Indian heritage to lead the LIV.
The LIV Network of Cultural and Diverse Association Presidents comprises the African Australian Legal Network, Asian Australian Lawyers Association, Australian Italian Lawyers Association, Diverse Women in Law, French Australian Lawyers Society, Hellenic Australian Lawyers, Jewish Australian Lawyers' Association, LIVOut, Melbourne Catholic Lawyers’Association, Muslim Legal Network, North American Australia Lawyers Alliance, Victorian Christian Legal Society, and Victorian Women Lawyers.
The 13-group network will coordinate the LIV's efforts to create a strong voice to advocate for greater cultural diversity in the profession. As Mr Panya states "diversity contributes to the vitality of our community. We want the legal profession to reflect that. We want broad representation across the profession, from the bottom to the top.”
Twenty-eight per cent of the Australian population was born overseas and 32 per cent has a non-Anglo Celtic background, but this is not proportionately represented in leadership of organisations. A 2015 Asian Australian Lawyers Association (AALA) report found Asian Australian lawyers account for 3.1 per cent of partners in law firms, 1.6 per cent of barristers and 0.8 per cent of the judiciary.
“We continue to tackle the bamboo ceiling and sticky floor,” says AALA Victorian president Daniel D Nguyen.
Inclusivity is vital for the sustainability of the legal profession, says Mr Pandya, adding diversity in workplaces positively impacts performance, innovation, risk reduction and client satisfaction.
To read full article, go to: https://www.liv.asn.au/Staying-Informed/LIJ/LIJ/July-2020/Diversity--LIV--welcomes-13-group-network