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Law Society swap alcohol to prevent sexual harassment

The junior lawyers division of the Society has published guidance to create a “healthy alcohol culture” in the legal profession, aimed to reduce bullying and harassment incidents. 

Suggested alternatives to events involving alcohol cited by the junior lawyers division include guided tours, treasure hunts and magic trick masterclasses. 

Alcohol in the legal profession is a contributing factor to mental ill-health and used as a coping mechanism for those dealing with work pressures, the Law Society said. 

Alcohol-orientated events can also be exclusionary to those who do not drink, either out of choice or because of religious or health reasons, the guidance states.

Author of the report, Law Society Council member for the junior lawyers division, Laura Uberoi said the intention is “not to stop people drinking alcohol altogether”.

 “That is a choice for individuals. Instead, it is promoting awareness and creating opportunities to foster a healthier, more inclusive approach to work-related activities. 

“Changing drinking habits and taking responsibility for not getting drunk is left to the individual. However, as a profession, there is a collective responsibility to make positive change and choice easier for our members, clients and intermediaries.”

The guidance quotes research from the International Bar Association which found that many incidents of bullying and harassment in the workplace involve alcohol. 

Alcohol also hampers productivity in the workplace the Law Society said. 

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