Disability Sector Experience.
July 2018 - Present: Founding Chair, Association of Disabled Lawyers
I founded the Association of Disabled Lawyers and am currently responsible for all aspects of the Association's activities. I have used my experience and knowledge of charity governance to set up and write and Articles of Association.
I use networking skills to utilise my connections across the legal professions. This includes reaching out to disabled practitioners, the Bar Council and various chambers. I have also engaged with the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority in order to support their diversity efforts and to build relationships. I have also provided workshops for the BSB.
I designed and maintain the Associations website as well as its marking and membership building on social media. I also write its newsletters. I organise our meetings too. This involves the difficult task of finding a mutually convenient time and venue.
I presented at the Bar Standards Board’s Bar Professional Training Course regarding how to support disabled students and increase the number of disabled applicants, which required engaging content and confident speaking. I also engaged with the audience when answering questions.
I chaired the All Bar None event at the ‘Legally Disabled?’ Conference.
I have become a recognised leader in disability equality in the legal professions through the quality of the aforementioned activities. Such skills will help be build a practice as a barrister.
Jan 2011 - Present: Founding Director, Being Disabled in a Normal Society
I founded 'BDNS' as a blog discussing the issues faced by disabled people. The project was then expanded into a full website, in 2013, explaining disability rights and providing information regarding accessible venues, social events, sporting activities and holiday venues whilst continuing with the blog.
I currently directed a team of award-winning individuals to guide BDNS into new avenues. Initiative must be shown in confidently guiding the organisation into new projects and directions. Managing a team can be difficult but is best achieved by allowing sufficient freedom for independent thinking and responsibility.
I research and summarise legal issues and points of law to create accessible information about, and analysis of, the rights of disabled people and other protections available. I expanded my knowledge on the application of discrimination, administration and human rights law to disabled people.
I maintained the website and a presence on Facebook and Twitter is also my responsibility. This included writing blogs and commenting on the news whilst ensuring that the legal information is obsolete. Having this experience enabled me to work comfortably on websites and social networks and engage with our audience and assess our impact.
Dec 2014 - Dec 2019: Trustee & Former Chair of the Income Generation Committee, Disability Rights UK
Governance and Leadership
As part of the Board of Trustees, I made sure the charity ran well and achieved its aims as part of the Board of Trustees. This included ensuring the charity: had the money it needs; spent its money sensibly, on the activities for which it was raised; followed the law, including preparing reports and accounts to send to the Charity Commission.
I often persuaded experienced Trustees to my view, which will be useful for convincing the Court. For example, I swayed the Trustees to keep membership equal regardless of whether it is for an individual or organisation.
As Chair of the Income Generation Committee, I worked with people at all levels of the organisation to identify revenue opportunities and supported the Head of Business Management to reach his targets. I mediated meetings and lead the conversation as Chair too with the emphasis on everyone having a chance to speak. My legacy as Chair was bringing the Committee to an end after it became less significant to operations despite the development and implementation of a more effective regime that reduced the administrative burdens of regular meetings.
Legal Research, Analysis and Drafting
I co-authored DR UK's submission to the Equality Act 2010 and Disability Committee. I also served on the Enable Fund panel. I also wrote judgements as to whether an applicant is entitled to funding for reasonable adjustments in their campaign for political office, after applying the criteria to the case facts.
I provided support and guidance to a disabled junior manager. He wanted career progression into a more senior role. I helped to nurture his communication skills to facilitate a dialogue with his superiors. This also helped him to get the support he needed to thrive.
Jun 2016 - Oct 2018: Policies and Procedures Executive and Students' and Young People's Organisations Executive, Regard
Legal Research and Analysis
I wrote and maintained policies and procedures to ensure the charity’s legal compliance. When writing the vulnerable beneficiaries policy, for example, I researched the relevant laws and government guidance to discover which were applicable. This was particularly pertinent when I wrote this policy because, as disabled people, we are all labelled ‘vulnerable’ in law. It required me to develop my analytical skills and ability to process and large quantities of information.
Liaising with youth groups and student organisations gave me the chance to hone skills relating to engaging with people from outside of the organisation. This role also led to presenting opportunities at large organisations, such as University of Greenwich. I also developed my ability to present information and train people around building inclusive communities.
All Executive Committee members worked remotely. The role, therefore, requires self-determination, commitment and motivation to write policies, procedures and liaise with youth groups without peer pressure or an office base.
Aug 2010 - Oct 2011: Marketing and Advertising, Spokz People
This role entailed giving out leaflets to those who wanted them and provided interested parties with information about the charity. This role required self-motivation and determination to work for a period of weeks without the need for supervision or guidance as I was required to work isolated from headquarters and other volunteers. Good proofreading ability was demanded when assisting with the creation of leaflets.