Queensland Law Society

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Equity & Diversity Awards 

The Queensland Law Society Equity & Diversity Awards are designed to recognise individuals, in-house teams, departments and firms that embrace the changing nature of the profession and promote positive firm cultures that celebrate diversity of thought.

Equity Advocate Award
Large Legal Practice Award
Medium Legal Practice Award
Small Legal Practice Award


Equity Advocate Award

This award recognises individuals or team from a legal practice who have successfully promoted equity and diversity in the legal profession.

To be eligible for the award, the nominated solicitor or nominated organisation must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Open to individuals or team from a legal practice (whether a law firm, community legal centre, in-house team or government lawyers).

The nominated individual or organisation has successfully promoted equity and diversity in the legal profession, whether by way of:

  • Effective and innovative initiative(s) within the workplace to generate positive change
  • The individual’s or team’s activities in the wider profession and / or the community.

Large Legal Practice Award

Presented to a legal practice with 50 or more practitioners that promote equity in the profession, engage in inclusive and equitable workplace practices and embrace workplace diversity in a meaningful way. Any non-government legal practice in Queensland, including community legal centres, can be nominated for consideration for an award.  Practitioners can nominate the legal practice where they work. Barristers and Government entities are not eligible to nominate.

To be eligible for the award, the nominated organisation must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Successfully promoted diversity within the profession via the education of legal practitioners in relation to antidiscrimination, legislation, harassment, bullying and unconscious bias
  • Implemented equity initiatives demonstrated through gender, LGBTIQ, disability, ethnicity or other initiatives
  • Developed policies supporting equal opportunities and can show how they are employed by staff
  • Endorse flexible work practices which can be demonstrated via staff working part-time, parental leave policies, job sharing, working remotely and other practices which support work life balance.

The legal practice’s commitment to these issues should be demonstrated by:

  • Policies that support legal practitioners from diverse backgrounds and accommodate lifestyle needs
  • Existence of equitable processes in areas such as recruitment, promotion and access to training.

If the nominee is part of a national firm structure, the nominee must also provide specific information on Queensland-based diversity initiatives.


Medium Legal Practice Award

Presented to a legal practice with between 20 - 49 practitioners that promote equity in the profession, engage in inclusive and equitable workplace practices and embrace workplace diversity in a meaningful way.

Any non-government legal practice in Queensland, including community legal centres, can be nominated for consideration for an award.  Practitioners can nominate the legal practice where they work.  Barristers and Government entities are not eligible to nominate.

To be eligible for the award, the nominated organisation must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Successfully promoted diversity within the profession via the education of legal practitioners in relation to antidiscrimination, legislation, harassment, bullying and unconscious bias
  • Implemented equity initiatives demonstrated through gender, LGBTIQ, disability, ethnicity or other initiatives
  • Developed policies supporting equal opportunities and can show how they are employed by staff
  • Endorse flexible work practices which can be demonstrated via staff working part-time, parental leave policies, job sharing, working remotely and other practices which support work life balance.

The legal practice’s commitment to these issues should be demonstrated by:

  • Policies that support legal practitioners from diverse backgrounds and accommodate lifestyle needs
  • Existence of equitable processes in areas such as recruitment, promotion and access to training.

Small Legal Practice Award

Presented to a legal practice with 19 or fewer practitioners that promote equity in the profession, engage in inclusive and equitable workplace practices and embrace workplace diversity in a meaningful way.

Any non-government legal practice in Queensland, including community legal centres, can be nominated for consideration for an award.  Practitioners can nominate the legal practice where they work.  Barristers and Government entities are not eligible to nominate.

To be eligible for the award, the nominated organisation must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Successfully promoted diversity within the profession via the education of legal practitioners in relation to antidiscrimination, legislation, harassment, bullying and unconscious bias
  • Implemented equity initiatives demonstrated through gender, LGBTIQ, disability, ethnicity or other initiatives
  • Developed policies supporting equal opportunities and can show how they are employed by staff
  • Endorse flexible work practices which can be demonstrated via staff working part-time, parental leave policies, job sharing, working remotely and other practices which support work life balance.

The legal practice’s commitment to these issues should be demonstrated by:

  • Policies that support legal practitioners from diverse backgrounds and accommodate lifestyle needs

Existence of equitable processes in areas such as recruitment, promotion and access to training.


2017 Award Winners

Large Legal Practice Award - Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers
Small Legal Practice Award - Miller Harris Lawyers
QLS President's Equity Advocate Award - Linda Ryle

img20170525_EqDiv17_AwardWinners.png

From left, Melissa Nielsen (Partner, Miller Harris Lawyers), Linda Ryle (President, Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland), President Christine Smyth (President, Queensland Law Society), Neil Baker (Director - People and Culture, Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers) and Janet Wilson (CEO, Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers).