Disability inclusion is a key area of focus for Fieldfisher.
In May 2021 we launched 'Discover', a network designed to tackle the challenges facing disabled people in the legal sector. Led by Head of Just Purpose and disability rights activist, Millie Hawes, it works to remove societal barriers that hinder employers' ability to be truly equitable and engages non-disabled people in the discourse.
Discover drives disability-inclusive change at the firm through:
Education: embedding the social model of disability across the firm.
Removing barriers to inclusion: implementing policy change.
Support: providing disabled people with the tools to access resources, assistive technology, other workplace adjustments, and wellbeing support.
Outreach: collaborating with disabled people's organisations to continue learning and creating opportunities.
Since its inception in 2021, Discover has brought about significant operational and cultural changes to attract and retain more disabled talent at Fieldfisher. 6% of our people now self-define as disabled, which is above the 3% law firm average.
In 2022, Fieldfisher became one of the first law firms to introduce a disability leave policy and, prior to this, was one of the first to launch a neurodiversity policy.
We also on-boarded disability consultant, Diversity & Ability, who undertook a wholescale review of our HR & IT policies, resulting in changes being implemented across our recruitment, reasonable adjustment, and assistive technology provisions to ensure the social model of disability (defining disability by societal barriers) is embedded throughout.
As part of our outreach work, Discover was asked to advise a leading UK university on a new programme in disability law, providing best practice guidance on language.
Fieldfisher also has long-term pro bono partnerships with Access Social Care, a community- care justice organisation, and Whizz-Kidz, a leading organisation for young wheelchair users.