New research project: “Legally Disabled? The career experiences of disabled people in the legal profession in England & Wales: developing future strategies.”

6 November 2017

The Lawyers with Disabilities Division of the Law Society have been working with Prof. Debbie Foster of Cardiff University and independent researcher and photojournalist Dr Natasha Hirst, to develop a new research project: “Legally Disabled? The career experiences of disabled people in the legal profession in England & Wales: developing future strategies.”

Funded by the Disability Research into Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) programme, the research will investigate the negative and positive experiences, choices and views of qualified disabled people working or seeking to work in the legal profession.

The research will include people with health conditions and differences who may not define themselves as being disabled, as well as those who do. The success of the project relies on legal professionals with disabilities having full involvement in the design and delivery of the research.

Next steps:
The researchers will be running Focus Groups to gain a better insight into the issues that you have faced throughout your career so that they can start to shape the research questions. There will also be a virtual focus group for those who cannot attend in person.

  • Focus Groups will be run in co-operation with the LDD
  • Each session 1.5 hours maximum
  • Groups of two to ten people
  • Chatham House Rules – confidentiality respected
  • Held in accessible venues around England and Wales
  • All focus groups facilitated by disabled people

Initial dates:

London at 113 Chancery Lane, WC2A 1PL

20th November 16.30 to 18.00
21st November 12.00 to 13.30
5th December 14.00 to 15.30 (provisional)

If you would like to attend then please get in touch on for full details and to confirm your place. Please also let them know if you have any access requirements.

Further Focus Groups will be organised at other venues and dates, if you’d like us to email you when new dates are announced, get in touch on

Find out more about how the data from the focus groups will be used here:

Longer term:
Once the focus group stage is complete they will seek participants for one to one interviews to gain deeper insights into individual experiences. The last stage of the study will be a large scale survey to provide numerical data in addition to the qualitative data from focus groups and interviews.

Finally, they will produce an independent report that will share the findings of the research. They aim for this to support the legal profession to improve policy and practice in creating inclusive and accessible environments for disabled people wishing to create or progress a legal career.