05 October 2018

IBA launches global survey on bullying and harassment in the legal profession

The International Bar Association's Legal Policy & Research Unit (LPRU) aims to provide an empirical basis for further action.

The unit states that the survey will create a platform for developing informed recommendations and engaging with stakeholders.

The LPRU’s previous research on Women in Commercial Legal Practice found that half of female and a third of male respondents had been bullied at work and that a third of female lawyers had been sexually harassed. This latest survey goes a step further to gather a more complete, global picture of these issues from across the legal profession generally. It takes no more than 10 minutes and is completely anonymous. Alarmingly, the LPRU Women in Commercial Legal Practice report, launched in 2017, found that approximately 50% of female respondents and 30% of male respondents have experienced bullying in connection with their employment in the legal sector. Almost 30% of female respondents have been sexually harassed in connection with their workplace. The LPRU believes this to be unacceptable in any profession, especially given its role as integral to justice and the rule of law.

The ultimate outcome of the survey will be a report outlining the findings and offering observations and recommendations. The LPRU hopes that the report will encourage law firms to revisit their policies and training for responding to and preventing bullying and harassment. You can participate in the survey available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Russian, here.