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My Pride Story
London associate Jamie Jackson

June 2022: Jamie Jackson is an associate in our London office. He's shared his #MyPrideStory with us and reflects on what has changed in his own lifetime.

Growing up, I did not know anyone who was openly LGBTQ+

I take it for granted now, but I remember going to the first meeting of my college's LGBTQ+ society at university, barely able to speak because I was so nervous. Almost ten years on, my identity has provided a core element of my social life, and enabled me to be far more confident in who I am.

Hiding a part of myself at work would be exhausting

I'm very fortunate to be in the position where I can say I would not work somewhere I did not feel comfortable being out. Being part of Spectrum has provided a ready-made network of colleagues, from whose advice and support I have benefitted enormously.

Small gestures of allyship can mean a lot

For example, not assuming that someone's significant other is a particular gender, or using a rainbow lanyard on your security pass, go a long way to reassuring others that they can be open with you.

Working in a global firm, you get to know the reality for LGBTQ+ people in other countries

Although working with clients and colleagues across the world is one of the best parts of working in global commercial law, it does inevitably mean working across cultures with less progressive attitudes towards LGBTQ+ rights. However, it is only in doing so that you realise the assumptions you have about LGBTQ+ experiences in other countries are often outdated or wrong.

Diversity is more and more important to our clients

Undoubtedly clients are increasingly concerned about law firms' diversity and inclusion initiatives, including in relation to LGBTQ+ issues. There is both a moral and commercial imperative for White & Case to reflect the diversity of its client base, and the world we work in more generally.

Spectrum is the most visible sign of White & Case's commitment to its LGBTQ+ employees

I know I found Spectrum events encouraging when I first joined White & Case, and I hope participating in it provides similar encouragement to others. And I hope that each year more and more lawyers feel able to be open about who they are, whether inside or outside of work.

Pride is a moment to remember how far we've come

I remember wandering past my old school and seeing rainbow flags tied to railings during Pride Month, which would have been inconceivable a few years before. As much as there's more to do, Pride provides a chance to celebrate the advances made, acknowledge how lucky I am compared to many LGBTQ+ people around the world, and be grateful to those who have suffered to get us here.