Although the JLD is part of the Law Society's governance structure, it has its own committee structure.
JLD executive committee
Presided over by a chair and vice chair the executive committee is elected. Elections are held every October. Including chair and vice chair there are ten members on the executive committee.
The executive committee meets every six to eight weeks to discuss operational issues, for example, organisation of events, governance issues, development of policy focus, issues affecting the JLD membership, communicating with members, responding to consultations, developing partnerships with external bodies.
The JLD also has three representatives on the Law Society council. They have ex-officio status on the JLD executive committee. Their role is to voice the views of the JLD and junior members at the Law Society council meetings and standing committees.
JLD national committee
The JLD national committee meets three times a year and includes the executive committee, JLD council members, representatives from the local JLD network, LPC student representatives, and representatives of other groups (e.g. Lawyers with Disabilities). The purpose of the national committee is to provide:
- a forum for issues affecting junior lawyers to be discussed and policy positions to be settled
- an opportunity to get feedback from the local group network on issues affecting junior lawyers at a local level as well as input into other JLD decision making and initiatives which the JLD wish to take forward
- an opportunity for local groups to engage with the national committee and executive committee as part of the wider community of junior lawyers
JLD local groups
The national JLD is based out of the Law Society's offices in Chancery Lane and works closely with the Law Society itself. The JLD has three seats on the Law Society Council, which allows it to add its voice to issues that affect the profession.
In the same way that the Law Society exists alongside local law societies, local JLD groups exist all across the country (although some are branded as trainee solicitor or young solicitors groups). They run events, ranging from lectures, monthly meetings to social events, and offer an opportunity to socialise with junior lawyers who work and live in the area.
They can often be a lifeline for trainees who may be alone in their firms, as well as giving junior lawyers the chance to connect and build their professional networks. Many groups are building contacts with other groups representing the junior profession in their area.
These groups also have the opportunity to connect and network with each other, to share experiences and feed into the national policy campaigns. They are also invited to nominate a representative to sit on the JLD national committee. The JLD has in the region of 50 local JLDs in its national committee network.
Campaigning on key issues
From LPC student to qualified solicitor, JLD members face a range of issues. The JLD ensures that members' views are heard and campaigns to bring about real change to further members' interests.
The division's members are the future of the legal profession and therefore issues that affect them affect all solicitors.
See the 2015 policy document
Advice and information
As well as campaigning for and representing junior lawyers, the JLD provides information about becoming a solicitor and the issues facing our members. See our advice page here.
The JLD LinkedIn page is regularly updated with articles that are of interest to the junior profession. It is a place where members are free to comment and discuss topics of interest. We also have a presence on Facebook and Twitter.
The JLD caters for a diverse and vibrant membership offering various opportunities to join sub-groups, attend national events and engage with support services. Whatever members' interests, there is something available for everyone, with the majority of services being free to access.
See all current events
LPC / Paralegal and Junior Lawyer Forums
The JLD holds four forums each year, two aimed at LPC students and paralegal (titled 'How to find a training position') and two aimed at trainee solicitors and junior qualified solicitors (which are more skills based). These focus on each section of the membership and the issues that affect them. They provide hints and tips, invaluable guidance and advice from those in the know - an essential resource for those the entering the profession.
JLD Conference and Ball
Every year we organise one of the biggest events in the legal calendar, the JLD Conference and Ball. The conference features cutting-edge speakers and lively forum debate, and culminates in a black-tie ball. A not-to-be-missed event.
Once a year the JLD, together with the Young Barristers' Committee, the European Young Bar Association and the London Young Lawyers Group, organises a three-day training conference that is attended by young lawyers internationally - including Europe, North America and Australia. UK lawyers are also welcome to attend!
This is a great opportunity to further your legal skills, share ideas with like-minded individuals and, most importantly, start establishing your professional network.
The Law Society Excellence Awards and the LawWorks Pro Bono Awards
The JLD has its own category of award in both these ceremonies. The awards recognise the most outstanding junior lawyer contributions to the profession and to pro bono work.
The JLD essay competition
Launched in 2011, the JLD essay competition has become a staple of the JLD year. This 2,000 word essay subject gives students and trainees the chance to compete for prize money, as well as hone their drafting skills on a subject of relevance to the profession.
Above all, the JLD is here for its members and we are always happy to provide ad hoc advice or assistance (or, if another body is better placed to do so, we would be happy to signpost you there). Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.