Effective Leadership for Lawyers – a review
In January 2021, SAL teamed up with Associated of Asian Women Lawyers (AAWL) to bring our members an online event exploring effective leadership avenues for lawyers.
Approximately 20% of lawyers working at law firms are from a BAME background. However, only 8% are in a high leadership position. Race discrimination still exists in the legal profession and at SAL we know our members continue to experience racial prejudice.
Commenting on female Heads of State who have shown great leadership during the pandemic, Sneha Khilay of Blue Tulip Consultancy highlighted common leadership traits of effective leaders:
· Empathy, and
· Ability to build trust.
Everyone’s leadership journey is different. Personally, I believe building good relationships is key to being an effective leader, regardless of the stage you are in your career. Treat others with respect no matter how one may treat you, always be courageous and remember to be kind as you never know what someone is going through.
Sneha felt staying true to yourself can help you be an excellent role model to your peers. We discussed the power of vulnerability: people who are vulnerable are also courageous as they have exposed themselves and communicated that they are comfortable with people knowing this side of them and still being able to effectively lead.
The “breakout sessions” allowed us to explore further what leadership means and our respective views and experiences of vulnerability. Common themes included: leading by example, effective communication including using silence as an effective tool and remembering to listen.
I will leave you to personally consider a few questions:
· What does an effective leader mean to you?
· What do you bring to the table?
· Do you have what it takes to become a leader, and if so, what it takes to become an effective leader?
Najia Robbani is a newly qualified solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors LLP and a committee member of the Society of Asian Lawyers.