Welcome to the last Junior Lawyers Division Update of 2016 and my final update as chair of the JLD.
We opened the year with the Law Society's publication of new guidance on unpaid work experience. It was a fantastic step towards tackling the barriers to social mobility. You may have seen recent calls in the media to outlaw unpaid work experience in all professions, and it's great to see we're ahead of the game in this area.
This year has been momentous in terms of proposed changes to the legal profession, and indeed the landscape in which we practice. With some key changes on the horizon affecting all of our futures, the JLD executive committee has ensured the voices of junior lawyers are heard.
We have had a fantastic level of engagement from our members this year, particularly in relation to the debate around implementing a centralised solicitors' qualifying examination and the training contract requirements (if any) which will run alongside it. Excellent progress has been made in shaping these proposals to ensure there is consistent, high quality education and training without creating further barriers to access in our profession. No doubt this work will continue next year and I encourage you all to get involved.
The above is only a small segment of the work which the JLD has done this year, and so I am excited to release our annual report which provides a more complete account of the work undertaken on your behalf.
Many of our achievements could not have happened without our members so, on behalf of the 2016 JLD executive committee, I would like to thank you for your engagement and support over the year.
I would also like to thank the talented and dedicated 2016 JLD executive committee for their work throughout this year, with particular thanks to outgoing members Brogan Solomon, Jonathan Smith and Ben Fraser who have been fantastic advocates for junior lawyers.
I wish incoming JLD chair Bryan Scant and the 2017 JLD executive committee the best of luck for the coming year, which will no doubt see more changes to the legal profession.
Season's greetings from the JLD, and I wish you every success in the New Year.
2015-16 chair, Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society
Keep up with the latest information in our junior lawyer groups:
Free JLD forum: Helping you secure a training position - 18 February 2017, Cardiff
Free JLD forum: Career development and skills for junior lawyers - 11 March 2017, Sheffield
JLD annual conference and ball - 8 April 2017, London