With its headquarters in Liverpool and offices across the UK and overseas, law firm Hill Dickson aims to radically transform the diversity of it workforce. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool law firm Hill Dickinson is launching a major 12-month drive to transform its workforce by making it more diverse than it currently is.
Based in St Paul’s Square in the city centre, Hill Dickinson employs more than 850 people including 185 partners and legal directors. It also has offices in Manchester, London, Leeds, Piraeus near Athens, Singapore, Monaco and Hong Kong.
Professional services firms, particularly in law and accountancy, still have a stuffy and traditional image. Despite an increase in diversity they tend to be dominated by people drawn from white, middle class backgrounds.
Now Hill Dickinson is looking to bring about radical change to improve gender and overall diversity across all areas of its operation. It aims to build a more inclusive workforce, drawn from a much wider demographic.
Working in collaboration with the Law Society of England and Wales, the firm will kick off its campaign by targeting the untapped potential of the legal careers ’returners pool’. This is aimed specifically at individuals looking to return to the law after taking a career break and who are seeking flexibility amid their commitments, passions or lifestyle choices.
Carolyn Morgan, director of HR at Hill Dickinson, said: “Lawyers who have taken an extended break from the law – for any number of reasons – often assume their ambition to achieve or maintain a senior position on their return may no longer be within reach. This is something we have seen at our own firm and we are determined to change that.
“We believe there is an untapped pool of talent when it comes to the legal recruitment market, especially for those who may be thinking of resuming their legal career but would like to do so on terms that also suit their lifestyle.
“We have worked hard to consider and remove any assumed barriers to progression and tell returning lawyers that they really can ‘have it all’ at Hill Dickinson. They can have a family, caring commitments, a hobby or passion, all while pursuing a successful legal career at a firm that offers quality work and great benefits.”
She added that the firm would provide returners with the support they need to regain their confidence, build their client base and restart their legal career. And she said: “What’s more, and in line with our culture and values, we’re offering part-time and flexible hours so that you can truly build the work-life balance you want.”
Even before the pandemic hit, Hill Dickinson had begun work on a comprehensive range of benefits to aid recruitment and retention. Now, in collaboration with the Law Society, the firm will align itself with the society’s own initiatives to target returners and embark on a series of events to help spread the word.
Speaking for the Law Society, career development lead Rita Oscar said: “The Law Society is committed to retaining talent in the profession and as part of its Recharge programme has been reaching out to returners as a specific target group.
“In the past 12 months the Law Society has developed several initiatives to support solicitors back to law and has seen interest grow. It is very encouraging that law firms also recognise the untapped potential of attracting this group of people, with their experience of life and the law, back into the workplace on their terms.”
A free Law Society webinar in conjunction with Hill Dickinson will take place on Tuesday, October 5. For more information click here.