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Junior Lawyers Division message to JLD Council seat candidates

5 April 2019

Thank you for your interest in the Law Society Council vacancies.

Should you consider standing for either of the two Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) Council seats currently vacant, it is important that you are aware of your obligations to the Law Society Council and the JLD before making your decision. We hope you find the following information helpful.

Please note that these elections relate to the Law Society Council and not the JLD's own committee elections, which will be held later this year.

Information about the JLD committee elections will be available on the JLD website in September.

About the Junior Lawyers Division

Launched in January 2008 for junior lawyers across England and Wales, the Junior Lawyers Division is a division of the Law Society with an independent voice.

The division represents:

  • LPC students
  • LPC graduates (for example, individuals who have completed the LPC and are working as paralegals)
  • trainee solicitors, and
  • solicitors up to five years' qualified.

Membership of the JLD is free and automatic for those who come within these groups.

The JLD is all about its community and their needs. The JLD operates through an elected committee of volunteer junior lawyers headed by a chair and vice chair.

For further information about the JLD structure, activities and policy issues, visit the JLD website.

JLD Council members

The Junior Lawyers Division has three Law Society Council members:

  • One seat for LPC students and trainee solicitors (two-year term)
    This seat is currently occupied by Prisca Wharton who will be stepping down this year.
  • Two seats for solicitors up to five years' qualified (both four-year terms)
    These seats are currently occupied by Kayleigh Leonie and Laura Uberoi. Kayleigh will be stepping down this year.

The main function of the JLD Council member is:

  • to represent the views of your constituency at Law Society Council meetings and any committees you subsequently sit on, and
  • to communicate with your constituency about Law Society Council discussions and decisions.

Although you are technically independent of the JLD, you are nonetheless ex-officio members of the JLD committee.

As such, you are invited to attend all JLD meetings and events and provide a vital contribution to the representative work of the division.

Attendance at Council meetings

There are normally seven Council meetings a year, including a strategy meeting.

Council meetings most often take place on a Wednesday and last all day, although the strategy meeting is usually at the weekend.

Additional Council meetings are occasionally called to assist the Law Society in responding to exceptional issues in the legal sector.

As a Council member you will be required, under the Code of Conduct for Council members, to commit yourself to attending all Council meetings and to undertake a considerable amount of pre-reading of meeting papers.

This will enable you to best represent your constituency.

If you doubt whether your work or other commitments will enable you to meet these demanding commitments, you should seriously consider whether it is fair to the JLD membership to offer yourself for election.

Engagement with the JLD

As a Law Society Council member, it is important that you engage with the JLD and the constituency you represent as follows:

  • Attend Law Society Council meetings and represent the views of junior lawyers as appropriate. This can be on any issue affecting the membership. By way of example only, recent issues have included the abolition of the trainee minimum salary, the introduction of a recommended minimum salary for trainees, alternative routes to qualification, and the cuts to legal aid.
  • Report back to the JLD committee on issues arising from Council meetings that will have particular relevance for junior lawyers or impact upon them and their career development.
  • Attend JLD national committee meetings, which are held three times a year and always on a Saturday or a Sunday. This is an excellent way to meet with fellow junior lawyers and find out what issues are affecting them.
  • Attend JLD executive committee meetings. There are five JLD executive meetings a year, which will usually take lace on a Saturday or Sunday. JLD Council members are encouraged to attend all JLD executive committee meetings but it is appreciated that this may not always be possible.
  • Attend the JLD annual conference and ball. Input and attendance at other JLD events is welcome but not expected.

In addition to the above, you may also apply to sit on other Law Society committees, boards or panels in order to represent the views of junior lawyers.

The JLD executive committee welcomes participation in other Law Society committees but this is not a requirement. See a list of the current Law Society committees

We welcome applications from any of our members, but stress that if you are unable to meet these commitments, not only will you not be serving the JLD membership, you will also be preventing someone else from making the most of this opportunity.

Please do consider the level of commitment required before applying.

Being a JLD Council member is a commitment but an extremely rewarding one. Furthermore, you will not be alone, as you will have the support of your fellow JLD Council members and the JLD committee.

Finally, if you are eligible you may also want to consider standing for one of the other Law Society Council seat vacancies. These cover geographical regions, other demographic groups and practice areas.

Find out more about the other Council seat vacancies

We wish you the best of luck.

Junior Lawyers Division
April 2019