David Merkel OH (1967) named in the Shaw Trust Power 100 List

The Shaw Trust Power 100 List is an annual publication of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK.

David was admitted as a solicitor in 1976, and was instrumental in setting up the Lawyers with Disabilities Division of the Law Society (LDD). The group, originally called the Group for Solicitors with Disabilities, was created in 1989. The legal profession is notoriously competitive and difficult to break into, and LDD works to support disabled students, trainees and lawyers, as well as improving the system to reduce barriers to employment and career success.

David at the Power 100 List Launch at the Royal Festival Hall

David has spent his career working primarily in areas of law around education and local government. As chair of LDD and a Law Society Council member he has worked to keep accessibility issues high on the Law Society’s agenda, feed into government initiatives on disability, and develop and increase the division’s mentoring and outreach programme helping other disabled lawyers.

Every disabled lawyer has the potential to be a trailblazer and role model for others in their profession, and given the potential reach of the legal profession: lawyers with disabilities have fantastic potential to advocate for change. David writes:

“Every disabled law student and practitioner have goals and aspirations – they should be encouraged and helped to fulfil their potential.”

David has personally mentored a number of other lawyers, and LDD runs regular workshops on CVs and networking events. Its members include law students, paralegals, lecturers, practicing and retired lawyers and judges. The reach of LDD is very broad, reflecting and encompassing a wide range of disabilities, and therefore a wide range of accessibility needs. LDD provides and advocates for the right support so that their members can reach their potential, and help others join the profession.

The full Shaw Trust Disability Power List 2018 is available here – Shaw Trust Power List 2018