Maeve Delargy of OUTLaw writes about how you can support LGBT+ colleagues this month.
I am a proud founding member of OUTLaw, a network for LGBT+ lawyers and their allies. The idea for the network actually came from an accountant, Peter Ryan, and I think this external influence was needed for the different law firms to join together in the way they have. We launched in January 2019 with an event in the National Gallery. It was very well attended, showing the support the network had from the start and continues to have. I think people felt it was long overdue.
The founder firms are Arthur Cox, A&L Goodbody, Matheson, Mason Hayes & Curran, McCann Fitzgerald, William Fry and EY and Eversheds Sutherland. To ensure we were representative of both sides of the profession, we then co-opted a barrister, Seán O’Sullivan BL, so we had a link in with the bar.
Events during Pride
Since our launch, each of the founder firms have hosted at least one event. We have even managed to keep events going throughout lockdown with virtual events. For Pride this year so far we have had an online yoga class, a panel discussion with personal experiences of the healthcare system for transgender people in Ireland, and a cocktail class and chat with Robbie Lawlor about living with HIV. Our final event is music bingo on Thursday 24 June at 6.30pm. All are welcome and you can register via Eventbrite.
Other ways you can get involved during Pride month are:
- Enter our Pressies for Pride charity raffle. Entries cost €5 and all money raised will go to our chosen LGBT+ organisations. We have plenty of amazing prizes from our sponsors so don’t miss out! You can find out more and donate online.
- You can also enter our ‘OUTLaw on the Run’ competition. All you have to do is join our club on Strava. The entry fee is €10 (which gets you two tickets for our raffle!). Get more information on the OUTLaw website.
Supporting colleagues across the legal community
I am so glad I joined OUTLaw. It’s a great committee to be a part of. Everyone is so supportive of each other both personally and professionally. All ideas are met with enthusiasm and encouragement. It has introduced me to other lawyers I never would have met who are now a great source of knowledge and fun.
We know from the feedback we have received that OUTLaw is an important resource, not just for the committee members themselves, but also for those who attend our events. Going into a room of like-minded individuals can change what would otherwise have been a difficult day.
I also like to think that the mere fact of us being there is a lift for someone. Perhaps it’s a student who wants to embark on a career in law but thinks their sexual orientation or gender identity will prevent them. Or it may be someone who is not out to their colleagues but nevertheless appreciates the discussion topic that OUTLaw events can create.
We are always looking for new ideas so if there’s an event you would like OUTLaw to run or a topic you would like us to discuss, get in touch.