When we talk about diversity here, we mean gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age and culture. These factors make each individual unique and capable of bringing new skills and experience to a profession. I believe that diversity is an important trend that can be implemented in various industries. As a law student, I think that diversity is essential as exposure to various people, cultures and traditions will allow legal professionals to become world citizens who are capable of communicating and interacting with communities from all over the world. Promoting and embracing diversity in legal workplace will allow growth and diminish forms of discrimination between colleagues as individuals will realize that they have more in common than originally thought. Increasing the familiarity with the legal professionals from diverse backgrounds will allow individuals to respect each other and drop off any misconceptions that can encourage discrimination.
Although the principle of diversity appears to be widely embraced in the legal profession, it is still not broadly perceived in practise. Many legal workplaces are working to ensure the inclusivity of people of different races, religions, cultures, and people of disability but there is a lot of work that needs to be done until the law profession can be claimed as a diverse profession. For instance, the American Bar Association found out that women are still less likely to make partner while men are 2 to 5 times more likely to become a partner than woman. This is just one out of many issues that the legal industry faces when it comes to diversity. The legal profession must continue to work towards achieving diversity.
DIVERSITY IN DUBAI
I am a first-generation university student studying my law degree in a British university in Dubai. I am blessed to have this experience in Dubai as I have worked with legal professionals from different nationalities. I’ve met legal professionals who studied in Russia, Egypt, India, Jordan, Sudan and the US, and I have consequently learned from each of them; they’ve given me tips that helped me throughout my studies and job searches in Dubai. I should also mention that most local law firms in Dubai have lawyers who can speak two or more languages. This is beneficial to law firms as it expands their reach and allows them work on cases that involve international parties.
Although diversity is very encouraged in Dubai, people with networks in the legal field have better chances in finding a job in the legal profession. For instance, being born into a family of lawyers would have made my search for legal internships so much easier. On the other hand, my university provides students with various opportunities to boost their employability and I always make sure to participate in such initiatives. Although being a first-generation law student can sometimes be an obstacle for me, I don’t think it’s the end of the world; it just means I have to work harder in order to reach my goals. Fortunately, there are many online platforms such as LinkedIn, the Open University and InsideSherpa through which students can gain experience and knowledge in order to aid development.
In conclusion, diversity is essential in the legal field. Becoming world citizens who are open to the ideas of others will allow the future legal profession to function more effectively. Diversity in the legal profession will mean that people with different backgrounds will be able to pursue a career in law regardless of whether they have connections that can support them. First-generation university students will be viewed equally during an application as those who come from a family of lawyers. Consequently, a legal workplace will have a variety of legal professionals who are capable of bringing unique knowledge and experiences into the table.