June 2022: Oliver Trotman is an associate in our London office. He's shared his #MyPrideStory with us, including why being LGBTQ+, and being a member of the LGBTQ+ Spectrum network, has been a positive asset to his career.
Being out makes me a better lawyer
We work in a high-performance environment where you need to give your best every day. It's incredibly hard to do that if you are hiding one half of yourself. Law firms are also ultimately people businesses and an important part of that is building relationships (both with internal and external clients)—it's difficult to build authentic relationships if you can't be authentic.
Small actions from allies can make the biggest difference
Asking me about my partner, telling me about their LGBTQ+ family member, talking to me about an LGBTQ+ piece of news or art which they have heard or read about—these are all small things that really make you feel accepted and seen.
Things are changing in the legal industry, but there's still more to do
Fortunately a lot of the challenges and roadblocks LGBTQ+ people would have faced in the legal industry only five or ten years ago have eased. That said (and as mentioned), law is a people business, and it can be tough having to come out to each new person you work with, or working cross-border with cultures or working with industries which perhaps are not accepting as they could be.
Being LGBTQ+ can be a positive asset to your career
I think being an LGBTQ+ person gives you a different perspective on things and allows you to approach people, tasks or problems in ways that aren't immediately obvious to others, and that can be a real advantage.
Diversity matters to our clients, as to us
Clients are increasingly focussed on ensuring that their law firms fully represent the diversity of the society we live in. It's also an easy and valuable way for White & Case to demonstrate our alignment with our clients' values in that respect, and so to deepen those relationships.
Being part of Spectrum matters in many ways
Spectrum is hugely important in giving the LGBTQ+ community within the Firm greater visibility and voice. On a personal level, it's also great to have a network of people who often are more likely to have shared interests outside of work.
I'm ready to pass on advice to the next generation
It only recently dawned on me that I am no longer a junior lawyer, so it's a shock to be talking about the next generation. That said, I would say that whilst it's not always easy being an out lawyer (even in London), you should lean into it, be yourself and really focus on maximising the connections and opportunities that will emerge from that.