Legal Voices for the Future
Legal Voices for the Future (LVF) is a collaborative learning forum established by early career practitioners from different fields of law.
Our objective is to give voice to a new generation of lawyers on the most pressing issues facing us: the climate and ecological crises.
We propose to do so by holding monthly knowledge sessions open to everyone – lawyers and non-lawyers alike. In order to bring fresh perspectives and encourage innovation on pressing global issues such as climate change, each session is led by a different member.
The forum is an inclusive and safe space allowing for collaboration and collective learning without professing expertise.
We want to empower our members to use the law as a force for positive change and to collaborate on solutions to climate change and related societal injustices.
We also recognise the importance of cross-sector collaboration and encourage our members and friends of LVF to engage in discussions and develop valuable relationships beyond law.
Why are we important?
As junior lawyers, we see a pressing need for environmental and ethical issues such as climate change, just transition and biodiversity destruction to be brought to the attention of the whole legal profession.
Clients often rely on lawyers to address both current risks and risks they are likely to face in the future. We can expect to come across an increasing range of legal issues that call for greater climate consciousness.
However, the compulsory curriculum for legal education in England and Wales does not require law students to take courses on climate change, environmental law or biodiversity, nor have these issues yet properly permeated mainstream legal practice. The same is true of the BPTC and LPC/SQE.
As a result, many aspiring and practicing lawyers lack a proper understanding of these urgent issues. This is not only to the detriment of the profession, but equally to that of society.
Given the legal duty that lawyers have to advise their clients and act in their best interests, the role of the entire legal profession in the context of wider societal shifts towards decarbonisation and a green transition cannot be understated.
How can I become a member?
Membership of LVF is open to junior lawyers and law students, while attendance of the knowledge sessions is open to anyone interested in learning more about the role of lawyers in addressing wider environmental and societal issues.
We have no definition or cut-off age for what a “junior” lawyer or professional means. We leave this up to each individual to determine.
Join us by completing our membership application form.
You can also follow our LinkedIn page, where you can find out the most up-to-date information about our work and opportunities to get involved.
What can you expect from our knowledge sessions?
Our knowledge sessions are 90-minute-long hybrid or virtual events, aimed at introducing lawyers to a variety of topics related to the environment and ethics relevant for legal practice in the 21st century.
Each knowledge session has three components:
- a presentation by a member on a topic of their choice, and a Q&A
- an interview with someone with practical, academic or other relevant experience in the topic
- a discussion around a related piece of creative content (book, film or podcast)
To be able to get the full benefit of the third component, please make sure you complete the preparation for the relevant knowledge session as outlined in our programme.
How are we governed?
The Stewardship Group is a six-member governing body of Legal Voices for the Future, administratively supported by The Law Society of England and Wales.
The Stewardship Group currently consists of the six founding members (see below) and will be open to new applicants within a year. It is responsible for preparation of the monthly knowledge sessions.
Who delivers the knowledge sessions?
The first six knowledge sessions will be delivered by the Stewardship Group of Legal Voices for the Future.
Afterwards, any member of Legal Voices for the Future will be able to deliver a knowledge session on the topic of their choice related to the climate and ecological crisis, our overarching topic for 2022/2023.
Members will be assisted in preparation and rehearsal of their knowledge session by at least two members of the Stewardship Group.
If you are interested in delivering your own knowledge session, please fill in this knowledge session proposal form.
Who are the stewardship group?
- Zaneta Sedilekova – director of climate and biodiversity risk consultancy firm Climate Law Lab
- Ming Zee Tee – trainee solicitor at Allen & Overy LLP
- Matilda Graham – trainee solicitor at Bates Wells
- Margherita Cornaglia – barrister at Doughty Street Chambers
- Hatti Owens – lawyer at the new environmental oversight body for England and Northern Ireland, the Office for Environmental Protection
- Elnaz Amiri – corporate associate at Ashurst LLP