LONDON - Global law firm Reed Smith has made it into the finals for a Law Society Award in the “Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion” category, the firm announced today.

Reed Smith was recognized for its 36-person Racial Equity Task Force and new Racial Equity Action Plan (REAP), which sets specific benchmarks for hiring, retaining and promoting Black lawyers and advances pro bono initiatives impacting the Black community, all to deconstruct barriers to equity.

Through the REAP, the firm commits to improving the well-being and advancement for diverse lawyers in the firm. Its aim is to put an end to racism, discrimination, bias and stereotypes in the workplace, and to help Black lawyers and staff deal with the trauma and stress those experiences create. The firm is also working in communities – with local and national organizations – on a dozen new pro bono and community engagement projects, fighting discrimination and seeking fair outcomes from the justice system.

Announcing the shortlists, Law Society of England and Wales President I. Stephanie Boyce said: “Solicitors play a vital role in times of crisis as people turn to trusted professionals to explain the law, advise them on their rights and their obligations, and give them some sense of certainty.“

The Law Society Awards recognize the contributions of solicitors enabling individuals and corporations to access justice and enforce their rights. Reed Smith is one of eight law firms shortlisted in the Diversity and Inclusion category. Winners will be announced in an Oct. 7 online ceremony.