The national Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) was originally established in partnership with the Law Society for junior lawyers across the UK to be a representative voice of its members, with the right to speak independently, and lobby the Law Society, the Solicitor Regulation Authority (SRA) and other institutions both in private and in the legal press.

More recently, local JLD groups have become popular, providing more direct support for junior lawyers in the early stages of their careers, and a forum for them to meet and discuss issues in the legal profession with their local peers.

Junior lawyers at Thompsons were surprised to find there wasn’t a local forum for young people in the legal profession to meet with their peers and other solicitors in Stafford, so are launching their own Junior Lawyers Division in September 2018.

Stefanie Button at Thompsons Solicitors’ Stoke-on-Trent office got involved in setting up the Staffordshire JLD. She said: “Staffordshire has a varied and vibrant legal sector employing a large number of junior lawyers in different-sized firms and diverse practice areas. We wanted to speak to other executives like us but realised we needed to set up a group for the area.”

The Staffordshire JLD aims to provide members with an opportunity to network and connect with other junior lawyers and solicitors in Staffordshire. The local group will be run by a committee made up of representatives from a cross section of local firms who will hold regular meetings and organise social and educational events for members to attend.

Trainee solicitors, paralegals, LPC students, and solicitors and CILEx professionals up to five years qualified, who live and work in Stoke and the Staffordshire area are invited to attend the inaugural meeting in September at the Stoke-on-Trent office.

Stefanie continued: “Local JLD groups can be an invaluable source of peer support, as well as providing plenty of opportunities for learning, socialising and networking. We hope that a Staffordshire local JLD will achieve all of these things, as well as ensuring the junior lawyers in our area have their voices heard on issues of local and national importance in the legal profession.”