Inez Brown, partner and head of Clinical Negligence at Medical Accident Group, part of Harrison Clark Rickerbys. stepped down as president of Birmingham Law Society this autumn after a term in office unlike any other presidency.
Inez was the Society’s first black president and began her term of office with three initiatives in mind – flexible working, promoting technology within the legal sector and setting up a diversity and inclusion scheme.
The pandemic marked much of her presidency, as the legal sector, along with the rest of the UK, came to terms with a very different way of living and working.
Her commitment to encouraging flexible working where possible, to enable people to handle their caring responsibilities and create a work/life balance, was aided by the enforced flexible and remote working needed during lockdowns. Hybrid working is now widely accepted across many sectors.
The pandemic also highlighted the need for technology to overcome distance, so Inez’s tech initiative was very timely, including a push for smaller law firms to have access to the technology they need.
The diversity inclusion scheme, which draws in partners from The University of Wolverhampton, The University of Law, Harrison Clark Rickerbys and Gateley Legal has already provided scholarships to study law to two candidates, and the scheme will run for several years.
The scheme provides:
- A university scholarship on the Legal Practice Course.
- Advice on CV writing
- Interview coaching
- Training on presentation skills
- A place on the Trainee Assessment Day
- Support from Pinsent Masons who provide additional access to virtual work experience.
- demonstrate that they really want to pursue a career in the legal profession together with the basic ability and commitment to becoming a solicitor.
- demonstrate that they are currently studying at a UK university towards a qualifying law degree
- have attended a non-fee-paying school.
Beyond these achievements during her presidency, Inez also raised more than £22,000 for the Child Brain Injury Trust, through virtual events, including An Evening with Cherie Blair and an event with Stuart Lawrence, brother of Stephen Lawrence.
Inez is now chair of the West Midlands branch of the Institute of Directors.