5 Ways To Get Young Lawyers To Join Your Local Law Society
The Law Society depends on its network of local law societies to represent it in the regions and filter down messages from London HQ to a local level. They’re its biggest stakeholders. They’re also steeped in history, and provide a service to the wider community by ensuring high local standards and up-to-date procedures are implemented in their region.
To maintain strength and continuity, it’s vital local law societies attract newly-qualified solicitors, trainees and students to become members. Generally, the lawyers who get on board early stay active throughout their careers. Keeping a steady flow of young recruits into local law societies is vital for keeping societies vibrant. They need young people involved in the organic changes required to keep up with an ever-changing legal system.
“Generally, the lawyers who get on board early stay active throughout their careers. Keeping a steady flow of young recruits into local law societies is vital for keeping societies vibrant.” [Click to Tweet]
Here are 5 suggestions to encourage younger members of the profession to join their local law society:
1. Committees: make them accessible to young lawyers across the region
Very often it’s lawyers from larger firms that dominate local law society committees. This gives the committees strength and access to resources, but can deter young lawyers from smaller firms from joining your law society.
Appointing a junior lawyer liaison officer within the main committee, will give it an overview of what really appeals to young lawyers across the region.
The liaison officer’s role would be to reach out to younger members of the profession. This could include emailing them for opinions on what events and activities they’d like the society to be putting on, and getting them together for a discussion evening.
Not all junior lawyers feel comfortable in a committee environment. Giving them the opportunity to make suggestions to the liaison officer through confidential questionnaires or conversations is one way of improving the flow of ideas to the committee.
It’s vital for all young lawyers to feel valued and included, and to understand what their local law society can do for them. Committee members come and go depending on their length of office. The liaison office would create a continuous link between the committee and the junior end of the profession regionally.
2. Social events: spice them up
Bake-offs and board game tournaments: it’s time to spice up the social side of your local law society’s activities to broaden your appeal to young lawyers.
There’s huge competition for any lawyer’s spare time, so it’s important to put some real thought into how you can make your social events unique.
Why not look at an adventurous challenge for charity like a trek across the Alps or a London to Brighton cycle ride? The combination of challenge and charity is a great way of fostering team spirit and creating a bond between young members. It gives them a social purpose and will appeal to their competitive nature!
By support members taking part in these events and making it easier for them to participate, you’ll be enhancing the benefits of joining the society. And you’ll be brushing off any image you may have as a tired and outdated society in the eyes of the younger community.
3. Newsletter: encourage articles from young writers
Give junior lawyers the opportunity the engage with the profession at large by:
encouraging them to write an article on the local law society newsletter or blog;
challenging them to write an opinion piece on the law in their specialist area;
creating a discussion forum to get them engaging with colleagues practising within the region;
offering an award for the best young lawyer post on the forum.
Technology means we communicate 24 hours a day and younger lawyers are highly likely to embrace this. Their profession requires a great deal of reading and discussion. Where better to engage with this than your local law society online blog?
4. Seminars: get the word out
Courses and seminars are where the junior lawyers can ramp up their CPD points and develop their career. It may be they don’t realise what training and development opportunities they’ve got access to through their local law society.
So it’s vital to advertise all forthcoming learning events in your newsletter or online blog. The local law society should be young lawyers’ first port of call for professional help if they can’t get the problem solved by their firm.
Junior lawyers are always in need of good advice. Encourage senior committee members to write articles highlighting the experiences they gained as young lawyers. This could even be an inclusion in a junior forum, as long as the theme is clearly focused at the younger end of the profession.
5. Publicity: have young lawyers making the headlines
Profile young lawyers, their appointments, moves, promotions and qualifications.
Give them coverage in your newsletter and online blog, and contact firms to ask for news. Proactively create opportunities for the younger end of the society to get their name in lights.
Not all publicity is necessarily good publicity, but showcasing your achievements is usually good for career progression. And reading about the activity of friends or colleagues in their local law society, may well inspire a young lawyer to join up and get involved in their society.
If you’d like to learn more about how we help make local law societies more accessible to younger lawyers, visit our website and browse through the cutting-edge on-line newsletters we produce for law societies across the country