A lawyer working to advance the rights of the LGBTIQ+ legal community has won the 2020 Australian Young Lawyer Award.
Queensland lawyer Dean Clifford-Jones founded Pride in Law in 2017, which advocates for tolerance and equality across the legal profession.
Mr Clifford-Jones has grown the organisation into a national LGBTIQ+ Law Association running workshops and providing training that is helping to transform practices across the country.
“What makes Dean’s achievements even more remarkable is that he set up Pride in Law whilst undertaking the demanding role of Principal Lawyer within the Office of the Director of Child Protection Litigation in Queensland,” said Pauline Wright, President of the Law Council of Australia.
“Pride in Law is, and remains, the only LGBTIQ+ legal body in Australia. What Dean achieved is truly historic and is helping to break down barriers across Australia.
“Whilst we pride ourselves on being an inclusive profession, many among us have been subject to discrimination and harassment.
“I applaud the efforts of Dean and younger members of our profession who have decided to take a stand against prejudice and bias, celebrate diversity and usher in a more inclusive and accepting era.”
Pride in Law is a non-political group, aimed at linking the LGBTIQ+ legal community and their allies.
The creation of Pride in Law was a historic moment. It was the first time in Australian history that an independent legal association was formed for LGBTIQ+ legal professionals.
Joint winners of the Australian Young Lawyer Organisation Award were also revealed today and included the NSW Young Lawyers Human Rights Committee who were commended for its program, “Addressing Sexual Harassment in Australian Legal Workplaces” which is developing strategies that are transforming legal workplaces as well as organising workshops and training.
Fellow winner, the Law Institute of Victoria’s Young Lawyers, was chosen for its program “Physically Distant, Professionally Close: How to thrive in a virtual world”, launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has developed a series of online workshops focused on various aspects of legal practice, building and upskilling, including how to manage stress and be resilient.
It also hosted a workshop where trans and gender diverse lawyers and students spoke about their experiences.
Last Updated on Dec 7, 2020