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Diversity Matters: An interview with Scott Halliday

Late last year, we held our first ever Diversity Matters event to highlight the importance of diversity in the workplace. Today we’re talking to one of the speakers, Associate Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell Scott Halliday. We discuss being your true self at work and ‘giving back’ to encourage the next generation of lawyers.

I studied law at the University of York and graduated with a first-class law degree. During my undergraduate studies, I lived and studied for 2 months in South Korea at the Seoul National Universities Summer Institute. I studied philosophy and international politics. I then studied an LLM International Human Rights Law at the Centre for Applied Human Rights in York. Finally, I studied my LPC at The University of Law in Leeds. I have now worked at Irwin Mitchell for over 5 years. I am an associate family law solicitor in Leeds and London. I advise on divorce, financial matters on separation (often complex and high value) and child law, both domestic and international. 

I got involved with ULaw’s Diversity Matters event as I have always felt that you should try to ‘give back’ and encourage others once you are in the position to. I needed that and relied on mentors when I was developing; I still do.

Why would you not want to widen your understanding of lives and people in a profession you are part of or want to be part of? Being an ally and encouraging allies is everything.

Diversity in the legal profession is not an option for people with diverse characteristics; it is essential. Diversity enriches us all, and it means we are rewarding people based on talent, effort and achievement, which is important. 

Essentially, the law regulates how we live. It is vital that law and its significance in our lives is administered by a mix of people who are committed, bright and able. It takes many, many brilliant, diverse and talented people to make that a reality.

I worked really hard to know my practice area and to know my authentic self. The better I got at my day job, the more I found people wanted to hear what I had to say. This is how I got into becoming a diversity advocate. I love public speaking and meeting new people and being part of the market place of ideas. Now I relish it and try to do it when asked.

Students can show their support for diversity by being authentic. Do not apologise for being diverse; support each other. There is room for us all, just work hard, very hard. You can do it.

Only time will tell if this next generation will carry the diversity baton forward. I sense that they are a radical and bright generation, keen to move things forward even more. They excite me because they are so keen and aware of the issues.

 

Interested in hearing more about LGBTQ+ diversity & inclusion in the workplace? Join us at our upcoming virtual Diversity Matters event on Thursday, 25 February 2021 from 6:00pm (GMT). For further information and to register your attendance for this free-of-charge event, please check your student email.