We are a voluntary Law Society-affiliated organisation focused on helping make the world around us a better, happier place for Surrey's junior lawyers. With the help of our energetic committee, we organise exciting networking and educational events, fundraisers for charities close to our hearts and support sessions for our members.
Like the Junior Lawyers Division, membership with us is free and automatic. If you're a junior lawyer, you're a member. Our members currently include LPC and BPC students and graduates, paralegals, chartered legal executives, conveyancers, trainee solicitors, solicitor apprentices, solicitors of up to 5 years’ PQE, pupil barristers and junior barristers of up to 5 years’ practice.
To visit the LinkedIn pages of each of our committee members, just click their photo.
"One of my favourite things about JLD committee members is that none of them have had a golden path into law. They know the pain and the struggle and they want to help."
Martin is a property solicitor at Julie West Solicitors and is responsible for managing our committee as well as deciding its direction for the year. He set up a working group for local JLDs in the Home Counties comprised of Surrey JLD, JLD Berks, Bucks & Oxon, Herts JLD and Northants Bucks JLD. In July 2020 Martin organised a Surrey Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) stakeholder roundtable on his own, where he gathered Surrey JLD, Surrey Law Society, Guildford's University of Surrey Law School and University of Law to consult with and challenge the SRA on the SQE.
As our National JLD Representative Martin represents Surrey JLD at national committee meetings at The Law Society. The JLD national committee represents JLD members across England and Wales, providing a forum for issues affecting junior lawyers to be discussed and policy positions to be settled.
Martin also runs Cocoa With The Committee, represents Surrey JLD at university events, contributes articles to Surrey Lawyer and helped design our logo. In his spare time he mentors LLB and LPC students and graduates, providing guidance on CVs, interviews, networking and commercial awareness.
"Yes, we welcome aspiring and junior lawyers from Hampshire too.”
Alice is a family solicitor at Knights plc and has been the Secretary for Surrey JLD since April 2021. Having studied at the University of Law Guildford and then moving to a firm in Sussex until January 2021, Alice is excited to be back in Surrey to support junior lawyers where her career started.
Alice has volunteered for organisations from The ULaw Family Legal Advice Clinic to the Girl Guides and we’re glad to have her passion and drive on the committee.
"It is never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot
Sapphira is a trainee solicitor at TWM Solicitors LLP and is Treasurer of Surrey JLD, having joined the Committee in November 2020. Sapphira used to be a teacher and musician and is familiar with providing guidance, running a business, and marketing and networking. As a career changer, Sapphira appreciates the importance of recognising the varied and enhanced skill set those entering the profession from a wide variety of pathways can offer.
Sapphira greatly appreciates the supportive network Surrey JLD provides for local junior and aspiring lawyers. She also values the roles that local JLDs play not only in supporting members with their career aspirations and providing valuable networking opportunities, but also in promoting healthy and positive working practices.
“Build your own dreams but let others help and guide you.”
Victoria is a family associate at Stevens & Bolton who joined the Surrey JLD committee in November 2020, having recently been a General Committee Member and before that Secretary of Bournemouth JLD. She therefore understands the important role that local JLD groups offer and the difference they make to junior lawyers’ lives both personally and professionally. For Victoria, being part of the JLD is not only about business networking, but also connecting with others in similar positions and drawing from each other’s experiences.
Whilst originally from the Surrey area, Victoria spent the last 10 years in Dorset undertaking her degree, CILEx qualification and qualifying as a solicitor via the CILEx conversion route. She therefore knows all too well about the struggles of qualifying and is well equipped to discuss the various routes with those thinking about pursuing a legal career.
“Every little action makes a big difference.”
Katrina is a trainee solicitor at rhw Solicitors LLP. She feels very passionately about helping others and tries to assist as many charities as she can from time to time, having taken part in several unpaid charity projects in the past, and independently raised the funds to participate in these programmes from cake sales to door-to-door enquiries. She gives blood regularly along with donating and sharing donation pages on social media, including buying her local wildlife charity HART supplies from its Amazon wish list.
A keen environmentalist, Katrina encourages recycling to friends, family and colleagues, ensuring that as much waste as possible is recycled through Terracycle recycling streams, which raises money for charity as well as reducing the amount going to landfill. In 2013 she spent a summer in Fiji, assisting with renovating a school and teaching school children, and then went on to complete a conservation project, planting trees and planting coral underwater to encourage growth. In 2014 she worked in a turtle sanctuary in the Maldives, where she fed the turtles, cleaned their tanks and picked litter off the beaches.
In 2016, after she graduated, Katrina obtained a scholarship for a summer internship in a Legal Advice Centre in San Diego, California, providing pro bono legal advice to asylum seekers, victims of domestic violence and unaccompanied children coming over the border from Mexico.
"May I get you another JLD Healthy Drinking Guide?"
Adele is a solicitor at Gordons Partnership, having started out on her legal journey as the first in her family to go to university, who knew no one in the profession to give her any guidance.
Since joining Gordons Partnership she has organised her firm’s events and loves getting it involved in local and global charity events, as well as team building exercises and social drinks. We are delighted to have someone with her energy and ideas on our committee.
Adele finds Surrey JLD events an excellent way of networking and enjoys getting insight into how other junior solicitors are finding their training and initial years of qualification. Adele was pleasantly surprised by how many aspiring solicitors attend our events, as she readily recalls from university how beneficial she found opportunities to meet junior lawyers.
Like so many of our committee, Adele wants to offer support and guidance to people who are just starting out in their legal careers, since that was her only a couple of years ago.
“You are stronger than you think and can achieve more than you can imagine. If I can do it, so can you. I hope to inspire Junior Lawyers and break down barriers to the profession”.
Amber is a Trainee Solicitor at Moore Barlow and is on both its Wellbeing committee and Diversity & Inclusion committee, being passionate about mental health and access to the legal profession. Amber is also on the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion sub-committee of Surrey Law Society and hopes to use her insight across her firm-wide and regional roles to help junior lawyers.
As Events Representative Amber not only organises events but, most importantly, makes sure everyone is having a great time! Feel free to introduce yourself at our next virtual or in-person event.
"I welcome questions and conversation from anyone that would benefit from advice or guidance on entering a career in law."
Kate is an associate at Stevens & Bolton LLP and joined the Surrey JLD committee in 2019, having moved to work in Guildford from a firm in Berkshire.
Kate previously chaired the Berks, Bucks & Oxon JLD and her experience within another local JLD has been valuable. Having seen the benefits of being involved with a local JLD committee in developing both friendships and a professional network, Kate was keen to get involved with the JLD in Surrey following her move.
As Surrey Law Society Representative Kate attends Surrey Law Society events to drive collaboration between our two groups. In addition, Kate is passionate about supporting junior lawyers through their training contracts and beyond, as well as improving diversity within the profession.
"No one knows how to work hard quite like a junior lawyer"
Chloe is a Solicitor at GBH Law in the corporate team and is a new member of the Surrey JLD committee in 2021.
Prior to becoming a solicitor, Chloe worked as a marketing assistant at a manufacturing company and assisted with the day-to-day running of the company website. Chloe was keen to get involved with the Surrey JLD and thought Website Officer was a great way to do so.
As Website Officer Chloe maintains and keeps the website up to date. In addition, Chloe is passionate about supporting junior lawyers achieve their potential and find their passion.
"I wish I’d known about the Junior Lawyers Division sooner."
As a trainee solicitor at Morrisons Solicitors, Alexandra remembers all too well the struggle to enter the legal profession and is keen to provide the sort of help and support she received from Surrey JLD members.
In her previous volunteer work for her local Citizens Advice Bureau, Alexandra ran its website and social media, so we are very pleased to have someone with her experience. She administers our Instagram page and works with Tabitha to ensure we continue to reach aspiring and junior lawyers across Surrey and beyond.
“Why do I want to become a property solicitor? I just feel easement to be.”
Tabitha is an LPC-student-turned-trainee-solicitor at GBH Law Limited, who has accrued a wealth of experience relevant to our committee during her undergraduate degree. Tabitha runs our Social Media pages alongside Alexandra, expanding the reach of the SJLD and she also runs her own social media to discuss her legal journey and offer tips for students at law school. She hosted events on behalf of ULaw, for example a talk by a senior prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service, presented her own talks at ULaw open days and recently assisted in creating the Welcome ULaw video for the Guildford Campus. As Vice President for the Guildford campus Tabitha regularly met with students to discuss their experiences and successfully campaigned for change on their behalf. During her Training Contract, Tabitha has undertaken a great many charity events raising money for Fragile X, MacMillan and Godalming Food Bank.
“In a world where everything has become more virtual, I think it is even more important that Junior Lawyers stick together to help one another, check in on each other’s well-being and have our voices heard on the issues affecting us.”
Kim Wintle is a Family solicitor at Blackfords LLP, working in the Care department dealing with cases involving child protection matters and completing her Children Law accreditation so she can represent children in care proceedings. As Media and Communications Representative she is the first point of contact for many new members as she monitors our email address, updates our mailing list and sends out our emails detailing our events and initiatives.
To begin with, Kim went to Nottingham Trent University and was fortunate enough to be offered a paralegal role followed by a training contact at a firm in Nottingham once she graduated. She also became heavily involved with Nottingham JLD (NJLD) and the Nottingham Law Society, being first the Nottingham Law Society Representative before going on to become the Chair of NJLD.
Kim absolutely loved her time on the NJLD committee and was very proud of the work they achieved. She has since moved back to her hometown in Surrey and missed getting involved with the local profession, as she appreciates how important it is for junior lawyers and their careers, remembering the fun she on the NJLD committee and how good it felt to help other junior lawyers network and develop.
"A healthy lawyer is a better lawyer"
Sonay is a solicitor advocate at Saracens Solicitors and is passionate about promoting and encouraging mental wellbeing across the profession, having been diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression at the end of 2019.
As Wellness Representative, Sonay works to break the stigma around mental illness in the legal profession using her own journey and promoting resources which have helped her to manage her mental illness. She is also keen to encourage students and junior lawyers to develop a routine to take care of their mental wellbeing to ensure less lawyers suffer from burnout. She has developed the Wellness Hub on the SJLD website to assist our members with their mental wellbeing.
She also promotes diverse access to the profession, especially anyone who struggles with imposter syndrome and believes that they do not fit the stereotypical mould of lawyer.
You can meet Sonay at SJLD events as well as other events aimed at junior lawyers.
“Like the man says: ‘It’s good to talk’.”
William is a law student, currently in the second year of his part-time LPC. Alongside he studies, he works as a Secretariat Officer at the University of Surrey’s Governance and Risk Assurance team where he is a workplace well-being champion and residential warden, responsible for the welfare of over 3,500 students in the halls of residence.
It’s therefore no surprise that William strongly feels well-being is vital to a balanced personal and work life. In the past few years he has received training in mental health first aid, conflict management and safeguarding vulnerable young adults, so we are delighted to have someone with his skills on the committee.
In addition, William is working to develop the Surrey JLD Wellness Hub with short practical guides on understanding stress, emotional intelligence, and mindfulness. Furthermore, he hopes to organise reflective practice sessions on networking, handling challenging situations and managing expectations.
"Yes, I do work from home, but that’s not what makes me an in-house lawyer."
James Fry is a Contracts and Special Projects solicitor at Surrey County Council. While thoroughly enjoying his training and delighted with his current role, having access to support relating to in-house specifics proved an invaluable resource.
James therefore joined the Surrey JLD committee in November 2021 as he would love to give clarity to those interested in an in-house career, and appreciates the value of Surrey JLD as a resource for connecting with other in-house lawyers and sharing experiences.
“Life begins at 30. Don’t be afraid of making changes.”
Nedra is a paralegal working in the Lending Department at TWM Solicitors and an aspiring solicitor.
Nedra served in the Royal Navy for 10 years from 2007 - 2017. Hailing from the Caribbean island of St Vincent and the Grenadines where opportunities at the time for a working-class family were slim to none, she made the unprecedented decision to join the Navy with the intention of studying law whilst serving.
After 6 years of procrastination, Nedra eventually started a law degree, now 7 years later she has accomplished the LPC (LLM) and is actively seeking and applying for a training contract.
As a career changer Nedra is all too familiar with inward struggles, like thinking that age and experience might be an obstacle to progress within the legal profession. Nedra intends to use her experiences thus far to encourage and enable a more positive thinking agenda when it comes to changing careers.
“The Solicitors Qualifying Examination is SQE for short… or “Squee” as we prefer to pronounce it at Surrey JLD.”
Seema is a trainee solicitor at Howell-Jones LLP and has taken up the new role of SQE Representative for Surrey JLD this year. Having worked full time as a legal secretary whilst completing her LLB part-time, Seema appreciates the importance of, and hard work that goes into, non-traditional routes to law.
As SQE Representative, Seema will aim to offer guidance to those students with questions about the SQE, whilst offering personal insight through being amongst the first cohort to take the exams.
Seema also has a daughter and would be happy to speak to anyone facing challenges as a working parent, as well as solicitor apprentices, or those contemplating whether to take the SQE.
“It is so reassuring to be able to inform students of the brilliant work and support which Surrey JLD is able to provide.”
Bethany Walker is a trainee solicitor at Moore Barlow. As Colleges and Universities Students Representative she liaises with local sixth forms, colleges and universities, targeting those who may be interested in a future career in law, along with being a point of contact for students looking to find out more about what Surrey JLD can offer them as aspiring and junior lawyers.
Bethany had no legal connections or general knowledge of the legal profession system prior to applying for vacation schemes and training contracts, so would have loved to have known Surrey JLD was on hand for discussions and support throughout her junior career. Due to the diversity and inclusion issues which the legal industry still grapples with, she feels it is so important to widen Surrey JLD’s outreach to aspiring lawyers to support them on their journeys to becoming junior lawyers.
Moreover, Bethany is an avid supporter of mental well-being and sees her position as a great way to support the well-being of future lawyers by aiding them with their career aspirations. As a Professional Ambassador for the organisation Aspiring Solicitors, she helps inspire students from ‘non-traditional’ legal backgrounds to pursue a career in law.
“The events of the day inspired me to become a lawyer.” — Christopher Darden
Grace is a first-year student with The University of Law studying for her LLB Law degree, her academic credentials further strengthened by a previous 6 years of legal study and extra-curricular achievements and responsibilities. As a regular attendee and ambassador for events designed to empower young legal professionals, she has an astute understanding of the importance of uplifting one another within the legal profession, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
As the LPC and University of Law Student Representative, her role entails liaising with ULaw staff to promote events for Surrey JLD, promoting the organisation to students virtually and on campus and attending committee meetings to report back her recent activities. Grace believes that promoting Surrey JLD to students is central to not only the material success of our future lawyers, but also the preservation of their well-being and mental health, providing a sense of community and inclusivity for Law students and young professionals, in what is a stereotypically competitive and often daunting industry to enter.