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Helen Lyne's Presidential Diary July 2015

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I decided some time ago to put myself forward to be elected as President of the Tees Valley Law Society. Having served as Senior Vice President for the past year, this day finally came on 29 June 2015. Irrespective of the time I had to prepare for this, I did not anticipate just how overwhelming this would be given the honour which has been given to me at what is still a relatively early stage of my legal career.  I am excited for the year ahead and the opportunities which this role will present.

This may be my only opportunity to take on this role and I am keen to make the most of it. I have therefore decided to keep a blog of my presidential experiences to share with anyone who may be interested in what the role entails.

Tuesday 7 July 2015 saw my first task in my new-found official capacity.  I was invited to attend and give a welcome speech at the swearing in ceremony of newly appointed District Judge, Faye Wright. As a litigator, I am used to appearing before judges in my day job and presenting a case to one judge is still somewhat daunting.  However, although this event was not about me or a client, speaking to a group of 15 to 20 judges was, frankly, somewhat terrifying.

The experience I had at the ceremony was however extremely enjoyable. It was such an honour to be part of a ceremony celebrating District Judge Wright’s career and judicial appointment. I still feel a little overwhelmed at being given the opportunity to take part in such an event which is also very humbling. Somewhat naively, I don’t think I anticipated how much this role would challenge me, although I say that in an extremely positive way.
My next venture as President came on Sunday 12 July 2015 when I attended the Legal Matins Ceremony at Durham Cathedral. This is an annual event which is held to give thanks to all those who work in the law, including the judiciary, solicitors, barristers, police and court staff, to name but a few. It is a very traditional ceremony and I was honoured to be invited to walk in the legal procession. I have never done anything quite like this so, again, I felt a tad out of my depth and daunted.  It was a fantastic event and my position as President allowed me to take part in something which I would otherwise probably not have had the opportunity to do.

Durham Cathedral

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I have only been in office for a matter of weeks but I am quickly learning that it is allowing me to experience realms of the profession which I did not know existed and I know this will shape my views of the profession and the way in which I approach the rest of my career. These events in themselves and the people I have met have already enflamed my passion for a profession which is understatedly diverse and something of which we should all be proud to be a part.  I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for me.

More news coming next month for where my Presidential exploits take me but for more updates why not follow me on Twitter @helen_lyne