Pride in Law founder wins 2020 Australian Young Lawyer Award

He began as a judge’s associate over 10 years ago before becoming a Principal Lawyer within the Office of the Director of Child Protection in Queensland. He is now a prescribed member on the Parole Board Queensland and founder of Australia’s first and only LGBTIQ+ Law Association – Pride in Law.

Today, Dean Clifford-Jones has just added another milestone to his already impressive career, being awarded the Law Council of Australia’s 2020 Australian Young Lawyer Award.

“Receiving this award illustrates to me, and hopefully others, that the rainbow community is not only accepted in the legal profession, but we are welcome here,” Mr Clifford-Jones said.

“Verna Meyers, an activist for inclusion said, the difference between ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ is that diversity is being invited to the party, whereas inclusion is being asked to dance.’

“Being the recipient of the 2020 Australian Young Lawyer Award means I belong in the legal profession; I’m accepted for who I am, what I represent and I belong at the party.”

Dean founded Pride in Law in 2017, advocating for tolerance and equality across the legal profession.  

The organisation has since grown into a national LGBTIQ+ Law Association running workshops and providing training that helps transform legal practices across the country.

“I hope Pride in Law will continue to show leadership, advocate for greater inclusion, and be a visible voice in the legal profession. I’d encourage those to illustrate how they have shown pride. We can all appreciate that pride is not about who you are. It is about what you represent.”

The Australian Young Lawyer Awards is conducted annually by the Law Council of Australia’s Young Lawyers’ Committee and recognises excellence in young lawyers and young lawyer organisations.

Pauline Wright, President of the Law Council of Australia said his achievements are a true testament to Dean’s hard work and commitment to the profession.

 “Pride in Law is, and remains, the only LGBTIQ+ legal body in Australia. What Dean achieved is truly historic and is helping to break down barriers across Australia,” Mrs Wright said.

“Whilst we pride ourselves on being an inclusive profession, many among us have been subject to discrimination and harassment.’

“I applaud the efforts of Dean and younger members of our profession who have decided to take a stand against prejudice and bias, celebrate diversity and usher in a more inclusive and accepting era.”

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