The lawyers at GT Stewart work in an amazingly diverse environment. We have offices across London, the South East and the North East and North West which are home to many cultural backgrounds and life experiences.
It is vital that our clients who come from those backgrounds have total confidence in our ability to understand them so that we can fight their corner to the best of our ability. We can all, consciously or not, suffer from prejudicial thinking when we come up against ideas and experiences with which we are unfamiliar.
At GT Stewart we try to ensure all the members of our legal and support teams are sensitive to these issues and constantly develop greater understanding of how they can limit their effectiveness.
We do this in 3 ways:
We try to hire individuals from diverse backgrounds at all levels. We welcome applications from all sections of society and weight educational achievement to take account of the substantial disadvantages suffered by applicants who may have had greater challenges in breaking through barriers to get into the legal profession. We have a successful apprenticeship scheme that targets local recruits. We attend student events and employment fairs as well as community events to promote knowledge of the firm. We are acutely aware that lawyers need to be found from non-traditional sources so that the legal industry is able to reflect the society of people it operates in so that it is respected by all members of that society.
We regularly arrange community awareness events local to our offices – especially for young people who are often unaware of legal issues which can disproportionately affect minority groups. We have in the past worked closely with Just For Kids, a well known charity which assists vulnerable children and young adults. Many of our lawyers give up time to attend events to promote their knowledge of these issues. We make it clear to all third parties with whom we work that we expect them to take these issues seriously as well.
It is a vital aspect of the success of the work we do that all employees receive positive encouragement to increase their awareness and understanding of the infinite value to them that diversity can bring to their working lives. We provide regular training to this end.