The fifth annual Junior Lawyers Division Conference and Ball was held in Liverpool on Saturday 28th April 2012.
Held at John Moores University in the heart of the city, the Conference offered a fantastic mix of soft skill sessions, really informative and practical information and entertainment! After a warm welcome from Chair Hekim Hannan, former Law Society President Andrew Holyroyd gave an engaging and genuinely rousing talk about the future of the profession. His speech highlighted that, although we sometimes forget it, especially in times of change, we have a world leading legal system in England & Wales – something we should be truly proud of. Mr Holyroyd also offered new perspectives on the often bleak horizon and that ABS will offer brand new opportunities to lawyers to become the business leaders of tomorrow.
Next followed Emma Norton, legal officer at human rights group Liberty. Ms Norton hammered home the abuses of human rights that are allowed to go on and the dangers in listening to the red-tops’ reporting of recent proposed changes. A key question was posed – why do we need a UK bill of rights? We already have the European Convention – the drafting of which was led by Winston Churchill following the Second World War.
After a short break, Samantha Mesagno (literally) had us on our feet, offering strategies and top tips to make our voices heard. After a moment when the entire room looked like they were pretending to blow their brains out, she talked us through how to engage with your audience. She was followed by District Judge Ranj Matharu who gave an honest and deeply helpful talk on advocacy in the civil courts. Although a large number left the talk quite relieved at being non-contentious lawyers/not practising in Manchester, they were much better prepared for the return to work Monday morning.
The lunch break was spent networking and visiting the stalls of the various sponsors, including Wesleyan for Lawyers, TM Lewin (don’t forget your 10% discount as Law Society members) and Kaplan Altior. Throughout the day, attendees took advantage of CV clinics and those resting on their laurels, simply counted the CPD. After which, attendees broke our into a number of smaller sessions, including top tips on using social media, making the move in-house, dressing for success and guidance for paralegal progression.
The afternoon closed with a very informative talk from Law Society council member Kat Gibson, who explained just what the Law Society does for its members – and it turns out to be quite a lot, most of which goes unnoticed. JLD Vice-Chair, Heather Iqbal Rayner, brought proceedings to a close, on a day full of genuinely fascinating sessions. She also launched the JLD Essay Competition – for £500, it’s worth getting pen to paper. For more details, click here.
But it didn’t end there! The evening took party goers across the campus to Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral and down into the Lutyen’s Crypt, below the striking building, for a fantastic ball, hosted by Merseyside Junior Lawyers Division. Fine food, good company (plenty of wine) and a brilliant live band resulted in a lively atmosphere and a superb £1,480 being raised for Clatterbridge Cancer Research.
Congratulations to the JLD National Executive, Law Society and Merseyside Junior Lawyers Division, for putting on such a fantastic event. To prove it – here are some pics!