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Helen Lyne's Presidential Diary August 2015

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I think I can safely say this month that I am over the shock of my election and have started to settle into the role. Events wise, August has been a quieter month which I think is symptomatic of the summer break. However, it has been the perfect time for me to start putting together some exciting plans for the year ahead.

I really do want to make the most of my term and to make some positive changes for the TVLS and, with this in mind, I have decided to launch the Junior Lawyers Division (‘JLD’) for the region. The JLD is a ‘not for profit’ organisation which is set up to represent law students (including paralegals who have completed the LPC), trainee solicitors and qualified solicitors up to 5 years PQE by providing support to members, networking opportunities, social events and discussion forums. Sadly, despite attempts over the years, the Tees Valley has never had a JLD and it is one of the things which I am really keen to change.

I understand that one of the reasons that the Tees Valley never had a JLD was due to dwindling numbers of trainee solicitors and junior lawyers. However, fortunately times are changing and numbers seem to be on the increase.

When I was both a student and trainee, I found that the JLD was instrumental in shaping me into the lawyer I wanted to be and came at the point in my career when guidance and support was what I needed the most. It also taught me a lot about the business world and the importance of networking which, having trained outside of private practice, was invaluable. I trained in Newcastle where there is an extremely active JLD but, when I moved to Teesside, I really did feel the pressure to go out and make the connections that I would have otherwise gained from the JLD. As a newly qualified solicitor, this can be extremely daunting  and to some may even be off-putting to a degree. I do feel that without a JLD, our young lawyers are missing out. I therefore hope that this marks a change and the newly formed JLD will thrive and support the region’s young lawyers even after my term as President.

Young Lawyers

Please join us to celebrate the launch at the Lotus Lounge in Yarm on Thursday 24 September 2015 from 5.30pm. This event is free with drinks and a buffet on arrival. It is open to all but I would strongly encourage junior lawyers to attend. To register your attendance please contact adam@tvls.org.uk

Aside from JLD business, we are also in the midst of organising our annual dinner which will take place on 4 March 2016- keep this date free. A number of other social and networking events will be taking place this side of Christmas and will be announced shortly, so stay tuned! Please also keep your eyes open for details of our seminar programme for the year ahead.

Finally, with more Government cuts being announced, including the announcement of proposed local court closures, I have been inundated with people asking me how the TVLS will be responding to this is issue. This is something which will be discussed with Council and a response to the consultation will be prepared. If anyone has any specific comments, please contact us at adam@tvls.org.uk and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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