Phil Cockayne, Commercial Director at JCI UK, explains how the JLD and JCI International share some common goals and how joint initiatives can be beneficial.

Recently, I was asked to present to the national committee of the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) regarding Junior Chamber International (JCI), who it is, what it does, and how JLD and JCI organisations can work closer together.

JCI is a membership organisation for young professionals and young entrepreneurs and provides development opportunities that allow our members to learn new skills, grow their networks, give back to the community and experience lead ership. We do this by running a variety of projects and events within our local areas. All members are encouraged to participate in these activities, primarily for the development opportunities that come with them.

JCI United Kingdom (JCIUK) is similar to the JLD, in the sense that it has national oversight of all chambers in the UK but the management of local chapters is left to the individual members who run them. There are 20 chambers across the UK with anywhere between 10 and 100 active and engaged members. JCIUK is also part of the wider JCI global organisation, made up of 150,000 members, in 5,000 chambers and 120 countries and is the largest, global network of young people.

The topic of the presentation was to raise awareness between the two organisations and explore opportunities that JLD and JCI can collaborate both nationally and locally to better equip our members with the skills needed for any young leader to progress. As a local President, Regional Group Chair and National Board member, I’ve witnessed first hand the opportunities that come with voluntary, active involvement in out-of-work activities and am hugely encouraging of any ambitious young people to actively seek out and utilise they opportunities, either internal or external to their chosen profession. Not many 26 year olds can confidently say that they’ve lead and managed a team of 25 to build a growing and sustainable organisation in their spare time, whilst holding down a full time job and other commitments.

As with JCI, the same opportunities exist within JLD to lead within a membership organisation and get all the value that comes out of it.

I’d welcome the opportunity to discuss with anyone the opportunities that both organisations provide to their members and how members from both can get involved. My vision for JCI is one that brings together people from all sectors who have that very rare talent, a desire to lead and a willingness to make it a reality. The benefits are clear; you will gain the skills needed to be successful in business, you’ll build a fruitful network, you’ll contribute something good to society (through charity challenges and projects) and you’ll also learn whether you’ve got what it takes be a young leader.

The end of my presentation concluded that the role of leaders in these types of organisations is “to break down barriers and build bridges” and I’d encourage all JLD leaders to find your local JCI and make contact. If not to work together, to start discussing what opportunities there are to better collaborate and consider sending members to events.  I’d also encourage JLD members to do the same as the opportunities JCI provide are definitely worth exploring in both a personal and professional capacity.

If anyone wishes to discuss further, please email me at if you’d like to find out more.