The role of the Law Society in your legal career
The Law Society (TLS) is the professional body that represents, supports and promotes solicitors in England and Wales. It also works to protect the rule of law and everyone’s right to access justice. With over 175,000 members, the Society represents solicitors working in firms of all sizes, whether that’s in private practice, in-house, or within industry and government.
Campaigning on legal issues such as human rights and access to justice
The Law Society makes sure the profession’s voice is heard by the right people – government, regulators and other decision makers. It campaigns for more effective laws and work with members of Parliament to highlight the contribution the legal profession makes to the UK economy. Recent campaign issues have included access to justice and regulation, criminal legal aid, education and training, and mortgage fraud. Where necessary the Law Society challenges the government to ensure the legal system of England and Wales remains fair, efficient and accessible to all members of society.
Supporting students, trainees and newly qualified solicitors
A legal career can be rewarding and varied but you’ll need determination, commitment and the resilience to deal with setbacks. The Law Society provides a range of services for students, trainees and newly qualified solicitors. Its Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) is an invaluable source of advice, news and information, and a great way to network with other new members of the profession.
All members of the Society benefit from a range of products and services, many of them at no extra cost. The Law Society’s Practice Advice Service provides advice on any issue, whether that’s technical advice on an area of law, understanding your professional conduct and reporting obligations or helping you to stay up-to-date with developments in the law and best practice. The service is free to all members. The Law Society library is also an invaluable resource for new solicitors. A team of specialist law librarians can help you with legal research enquiries to find that elusive case or piece of legislation. Members also receive the Law Society Gazette, and can access a wide range of practice notes, training and research online.
Promoting the legal profession
The Law Society helps raise the profile of the profession through campaigns and networking, and promotes the UK legal sector locally and globally. This includes working to open and grow markets for English and Welsh law, and making it easy for the public to use a solicitor through the Find a Solicitor website.
Increasing diversity in the solicitors’ profession
Solicitors come from more diverse backgrounds than ever before. The Law Society is committed to continuing this trend. Its Diversity Access Scheme supports talented individuals who face serious obstacles to qualifying as a solicitor. It funds legal practice course (LPC) places at a number of teaching institutions, and offers mentoring support and work placements.
Career development support for law students
As the national representative body for solicitors, the Law Society is your first port of call when you need advice, information or career development support. The JLD of the Law Society supports 70,000 students, trainees and newly qualified solicitors. Once qualified, its members can subscribe to membership networks. Benefits include: exclusive access to training events; conferences and seminars; newsletters and alerts; practice toolkits; and quarterly magazines.
This content was written by the Law Society and first appeared in TARGETjobs Law 2018, available free from your careers service and university law department.