On Wednesday evening I attended a private Dinner for Managing Partners in Liverpool. Liverpool Law Society President, John Ballam, and his fellow officers, hosted the event. Attendees included representatives from solicitors’ firms of all sizes. Bankers, consultants, and others who support the legal profession also came along. As well as an excellent dinner, this is what we got out of it.
Why I went to the dinner
I wear many hats in my role as Director of Donoghue Solicitors. I am lucky to get to:
- Represent clients and supervise my colleagues in their roles.
- Be responsible for the growth and management of my firm, and promote it through networking, media, and other ways where possible.
- Help and support the legal profession and wider society.
The day-to-day duties that come with practising law, and running my practice, are a full-time job in themselves. So, I find time out-of-hours and at weekends for other things, such as Wednesday’s dinner.
I am not alone.
At my table I talked with Alison Lobb, the former President of Liverpool Law Society. She worked hard during her year as President by attending many events nationwide in an official capacity. I suspect she has some good tips on juggling commitments for Nina Ferris, next year’s President.
Purpose of Meeting
One of the reasons for the dinner was to talk about Liverpool Law Society broadly. The Society has over 2,200 members in practice, and is one of the largest local Law Societies in England and Wales.
The legal environment is changing quickly. We discussed things like:
- What is Liverpool Law Society there for?
- What more can it do to help members?
- How can it stay relevant?
One area we focused on was training.
Everyone agreed that the legal training offered by Liverpool Law Society is excellent. Its pull means that leading experts in every field come to Liverpool to train members. These include Kerry Underwood, Helen Swaffield, and Dominic Regan.
But recently there has been a big change which affects training providers like Liverpool Law Society. Solicitors have moved from a points-based system of Continuing Professional Development to the new “Competency Standard”. This means that lawyers have more flexibility in how they keep up-to-date with the law and enhance their knowledge. The challenge for training providers is how to keep members coming to courses, conferences etc.. Everyone had comments and ideas.
What Next for Liverpool Law Society?
The dinner ran late into the evening. It was well worth it. The Society’s officers heard plenty of ideas which they will take to the General Committee. I was encouraged by the enthusiasm and creativity expressed by the group. Because the attendees were both business-owners and lawyers everyone had valuable input. The Society was formed 190 years ago. With the help of events like Wednesday’s dinner, it will see many more.
Kevin Donoghue is the Solicitor Director of Donoghue Solicitors. Contact him here.