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01 February 2021

The Glass Cast

We present a guest blog by Drew McCusker from The Glass Network.

Friends, lawyers, countryfolk: lend us your ears

This generation of lawyers is different.

Throughout the 20th century, lawyers in media were depicted as white, straight, cis men wearing important suits, winning cases and earning millions for their clients.

But towards the end of the 20th century, civil rights were being fought, independence protested for - and Elle Woods sashayed on our screens. The image of "the lawyer" was evolving.

This change was long overdue. People need, and need to see, lawyers, sheriffs and judges who reflect our diverse society. This ensures that our values and identities are respected when law is created, and that our dignity is protected from abstract and hypothetical arguments when it is attacked.

For law to be like this, society must have a legal profession that fully supports its LGBT+ members. Similar to most of UK society, an apparition of traditionally conservative values surfaced in 2018, when The Law Society of Scotland's Profile of the Profession found that only a third of LGBT+ legal professionals felt comfortable being fully out at work.

Nevertheless, a more LGBT+ inclusive Scottish legal profession is emerging. In 2020/2021, Amanda Millar became the Law Society’s first openly gay President. Increasing numbers of law firms support LGBT+ employees and attend Pride events. And, though we may be biased, there’s a great organisation for LGBT+ legal professionals called The Glass Network.

The Glass Network is an award-winning volunteer organisation that works with the Scottish legal community to harmoniously raise our professional standards and policies. Over the past few years, we have been supporting LGBT+  legal professionals by:

  • creating a free framework of inclusive practices called The Glass Charter,
  • becoming an advisory body to The Law Society of Scotland,
  • organising the first official participation of the legal community in a Scottish Pride march,
  • producing national awareness-raising campaigns, and
  • hosting online roundtables and in-person events.

As 2021 forces us to remain indoors, Glass wants to connect Scotland's legal and LGBT+ community by launching our new podcast, The Glass Cast. The Glass Cast contains interviews with role models, who work with or use the law to make it more LGBT+ inclusive. As well as lawyers and judges, we also talk with activists, writers, politicians, lecturers, and drag artists, learning how their work makes a positive impact to law and society.

There are many ways to change the world and we think listening to others is a great place to start. We believe that equality has no price tag and that everyone should have a seat at the table, which is why all our products are freely accessible. So when we ask you to share our podcast with your friends and colleagues, we ask you to do it for their benefit, not ours.

Hobbes said “the law is the public conscience”.  Through The Glass Cast, The Glass Network hopes to demonstrate that this generation of lawyers in Scotland has such a conscience and that it fully supports our invaluable and inspiring LGBT+ community.

Please listen and subscribe.

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