A new law clinic, supported by Kings College London Students' Union, Tower Hamlets Law Centre London and leading law firm, Baker McKenzie aims to provide free legal advice to members of the LGBTQ+ community facing workplace discrimination.

‘Pride Beats Prejudice’, which was founded by Joe Hayes, a student at King's College London, is the first of its kind - a law clinic focused specifically on supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community facing workplace discrimination.

The new clinic will provide one-off advice to members of the LGBTQ+ community who are facing workplace discrimination. Users will be able to email their queries into a dedicated inbox. An adviser will then contact them by phone to discuss their query before they are then invited to book an appointment to meet lawyers in person or virtually.

Lawyers from Baker McKenzie provided pro bono advice on the support of the set-up and launch of the clinic and also ran the first virtual clinic in March. Clyde & Co has also offered support and ran the second virtual clinic in April.  

While the clinic is initially focused on providing support to LGBTQ+ people facing workplace discrimination, it is hoped that this remit will expand as the clinic grows further.

Joe Hayes commented: "I am delighted to have launched ‘Pride Beats Prejudice’ and to have had the support of Baker McKenzie to get this important service up and running. As an active member of the LGBTQ+ community, I want to bring legal information to people easily. I hope that by providing a service like this free law clinic we can give young, vulnerable LGBTQ+ individuals the chance to understand their rights in full"

Emma Rehal-Wilde, Senior Pro Bono Associate at Baker McKenzie added: " One of the key focus areas for our pro bono programme is ensuring equity and opportunity for vulnerable populations. Although a lot of progress has been made in terms of LGBTQ+ acceptance and inclusion, services like Pride Beats Prejudice are still essential to ensure that members of the community feel safe and able to be themselves in the workplace."

Supporting the launch of Pride Beats Prejudice forms part of Baker McKenzie's wider pro bono programme, which includes a range of ongoing pro bono work to support the LGBTQ+ community, such as:

Working with decriminalisation charity, the Human Dignity Trust
Partnering with the Bisi Alimi Foundation, which supports the LGBTQ+ community in Nigeria
Acting for the Bermuda Human Rights Commission as an expert intervener in its case before the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the Bermudian Parliament's Domestic Partnership Act.
• Supporting Lambda Legal through a series of Justice in Action sprints, to research and understand conversion therapy practices globally as well as LGBTQ+ trafficking.

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