A letter from the BSN Chair

Dear Colleague

I write to urge you to take part in the forth-coming election of Council members to the Law Society Council and please vote for me.

I was admitted in 1995 and have been a member of Council since 2005. I lobbied for BSN obtaining recognised group status whilst a member of the Law Society Council Membership Committee-CMC-(2002-2005) and have been closely involved with BSN since then. I have seen that constituencies benefit from having longstanding members on Council who have gained experience, knowledge and influence.  There are many challenges continuing to face ethnic minority lawyers. Now is not the time to break that continuity.  I am a member of the Law Society Legal Affairs and Policy Board (2008 to date), was a member of the Equality and Diversity Committee and Chair between 2007-10. I co chaired the Minority Lawyers Conference 2011 and I am a member of the External Implementation Group of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (2008 to date) which seeks to address the disproportionate regulation of BAME solicitors.  I have been diligent in attending meetings as well as Council ensuring I put the case for BAME solicitors and aspiring solicitors. I will continue to use that knowledge and experience for the benefit of minority ethnic solicitors.

  • – I am passionate about the entry and progression of minority ethnic solicitors in the profession. I am concerned about the difficulty of obtaining training contracts and have actively participated in the current work of the LETR (Legal Education Training Review)
  • – I want fair and proportionate regulation at a cost that does not cripple law firms.  I believe that one size does not fit all. Solicitors must be able to deliver legal services in different legal establishments and in diverse ways.  The playing field must be level and the burden of regulation should be borne fairly.
  • – I will continue engagement of the Ministry of Justice in respect of civil and criminal legal aid reform and I am committed to challenge its proposed price competitive tendering.
  • – I will continue work with the Judicial Appointments Commission to see the appointment of ethnic solicitor judges at all levels.
  • – I will engage with colleagues at the Law Society, the SRA and firms and legal entities to encourage and press the business case for diversity and see more minority ethnic partners in every kind of legal firm, from Sole Practitioners, SMEs, ABSs to the Magic Circle firms.
  • – I will continue my work to increase the participation of BAME solicitors on all decision-making organisations like the SRA, JAC and the numerous committees of the Law Society.

We need to be present and active where the decisions that affect whether and how we work now and in the future are taken. If not, we will be left behind. Thank you very much indeed for taking the time to read my letter to you.

Yours in service

Nwabueze Nwokolo Chair BSN