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Last updated: 29 April 2019

This year, there are 17 Council seats up for election across 13 geographical constituencies and two Junior Lawyers Division seats. 

The elections are a great opportunity for solicitors who are keen to support and represent their colleagues. But in some seats, few people stand for election.

Why is this? Former Law Society president Jonathan Smithers thinks there are some misconceptions concerning Council. He explains the reality behind some of them.

Council doesn't discuss anything relevant to me

The business of Council is very relevant to our profession. 

 Over the past year, Council has played a key role in discussing access to justice by, for example, articulating the Law Society's position on the damaging cuts to legal aid and rises in court fees.

Council has also set the business plan and budget for the Law Society, including the reduced practising certificate fee payable by our members.

It has also agreed the approach to working up a new corporate strategy for the Law Society, with active involvement from our members.

They're not interested in people like me

We are interested in hearing from any solicitor with a passion for supporting the profession and a desire to speak up on behalf of their colleagues across England and Wales.

For Council to represent the modern profession, our members have to reflect it and we can only achieve that if solicitors from across all backgrounds, practices and areas of expertise consider standing for election.

We provide a full induction and are happy to discuss any training new members feel they need to be fully effective.

I wouldn't have time to go to all the endless meetings

We are all busy people but Council meetings take place on average just six or seven times a year and last one day at a time. 

Of course, for some there will be travel time to factor in, and some pre-reading is required before meetings, but I believe that Council members can definitely support the profession without compromising on delivering the best possible service to their clients.

The seats are all safe - I wouldn't stand a chance of being elected

That is not the case. The election process is completely transparent and I would urge anyone interested in standing to do so.

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