Adele Edwin-Lamerton updates members on JLD activities over the last two months.

It has been a busy few months for the Junior Lawyers Division (JLD), which have included the publication of our resilience and wellbeing employer guidance; responding to the government’s proposals for the introduction of accelerated degrees; two regional skills forums; the launch of the JLD annual conference and ball, to be held on 28 April; and the announcement of the winners of the JLD essay competition 2017.

We are also pleased to see that the Law Society has now announced the new recommended minimum salary rates for trainees, for which we provided input.

Resilience and wellbeing – employer guidance

In February, we published guidance for employers on best practice for supporting wellbeing and resilience in the workplace.  We are keen to promote the guidance to the profession, and would encourage junior lawyers to bring it to the attention of their employers. This year’s resilience and wellbeing survey closed at the end of February, and we are now in the process of collating the results, which should be available in time for our annual conference. Thank you to those of you who completed the survey. The response was incredible, and far exceeded the number of respondents to last year’s survey.

Look out for the next JLD survey on legal technology and AI, which will be launched on 6 April.

Accelerated degrees

In February, we also responded to the Department for Education’s consultation on two-year accelerated degrees which, it is claimed, could leave students over £25,000 better off. Whilst the JLD is largely supportive, there is still a way to go before the proposals are in an acceptable format. We are keeping a watching brief over this.

JLD forums

We held two of our regular free skills forums in February and March. Our LPC forum, aimed at students and LPC graduates looking for training positions, took place in Leeds, whilst our NQ forum, aimed at trainees and junior solicitors looking to develop their careers, was held in Bristol. Both events were a tremendous success, with great feedback from delegates.

Thank you to BPP Leeds and Bristol for hosting the events, and to all our speakers and CV clinic advisers. Thank you also to Leeds JLD and Bristol JLD for partnering with us and, in particular, Catherine Jarmola and Rachel Fisher of Leeds JLD and Bristol JLD, respectively. Their hard work was invaluable in making both events such a success, and we are extremely grateful.

JLD annual conference and ball

We are looking forward to welcoming you to our annual conference and ball on 28 April at the Law Society on Chancery Lane. We are also particularly fortunate to have Baroness Hale, president of the Supreme Court, as our keynote speaker. This is your opportunity to hear from our distinguished speakers and network with other junior lawyers at all levels. Early bird rates are available until the end of March. Don’t delay – book now.

JLD essay competition – winners announced

Congratulations to Christopher Walker, winner of the JLD essay competition 2017, and the runners-up, Crawford Jamieson and Samuel Jones. You can read the winning entries here. Thank you to all those who submitted essays. The 2018 essay competition will be launched in July. 

Last week, the Law Society announced the new recommended minimum salary for trainees, which takes effect on 1 May 2018. As a matter of good practice, employers should pay their trainees £21,561 in London and £19,122 outside London. We believe that this is an important component of access to the profession. The method of calculation and the annual review assist in preventing personal finances from acting as a barrier to talented individuals who would otherwise be unable to support themselves during the period of recognised training.

Solicitors Qualification Exam (SQE)

You may have seen in the legal press that the implementation of the SQE has been delayed once again, although further details are not available. The SQE is an issue which the JLD is fully engaged with, and we will endeavour to achieve the best outcome for our members.

Finally, congratulations to Amy Clowrey, JLD vice-chair, who was awarded rising star at the Eclipse Proclaim Modern Law Awards. Well done, Amy.

The JLD is all about its members and their needs. To enable the JLD committee to better represent you, we want to hear from you. Please get in touch at or through our social media channels to give us your thoughts, seek our support or just connect.