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.
*Designed our beautiful logo.
*OK maybe a bit more.*
Yasmin is an associate at Pinsent Masons LLP and joined the Surrey JLD committee in 2019, having moved to work in Guildford from Hampshire. Before training and qualifying as a solicitor, Yasmin was a paralegal for a number of years and undertook her Legal Practice Course at the same time as her full time paralegal role. In 2019 it all paid off as she won Hampshire Law Society's Junior Lawyer of the Year and qualified as a solicitor.
The struggles of getting to qualification are all too familiar to Yasmin so she is keen to help others get to where they want to be in their legal career path.
As Chair Yasmin oversees the roles of the rest of the committee and organises, co-ordinates and finalises Surrey JLD events and communications. Yasmin previously managed the South Hampshire JLD’s media and communications from 2016-2019 and her experience has been highly useful in co-coordinating the development of Surrey JLD to date.
"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 Events Representative Kate not only organises events but, most importantly, makes sure everyone is having a great time! In addition, Kate is passionate about supporting junior lawyers through their training contracts and beyond, as well as improving diversity within the profession.
"May I get you another JLD Healthy Drinking Guide?"
Adele is a solicitor at Gordons Partnership LLP, 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 commencing her training contract 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.
"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 administering our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, where he publicises our events and initiatives, interacts with other JLD and legal community groups, updates members with relevant information and raises Surrey JLD's profile. Martin relishes creative opportunities and designed this website, which he hopes both informs and entertains our members. He has been fantastic in building our brand: so far all of our LinkedIn posts have been made by him!
As our National 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 represents Surrey JLD at university events, contributes articles to Surrey Lawyer, helped design our logo and readily assists at events, for example when he wrote and marked most of the 2019 Christmas Quiz questions! In his spare time Martin mentors LLB and LPC students and graduates, providing guidance on CVs, interviews, networking and commercial awareness.
"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 Martin to ensure we continue to reach aspiring and junior lawyers across Surrey and beyond.
"Putting well-being at the top of the agenda.”
Sonay is a solicitor at Saracens Solicitors and is passionate about promoting mental well-being in the profession from the ground up, 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, like LawCare, the mental health and well-being charity for all those in the legal profession, from judges to secretaries to students and their families.
You can meet Sonay at our regular event Cocoa With The Committee, where junior lawyers connect and have a chat. One of the best things about local junior lawyers groups is being part of a community, which is all part of our mission at Surrey JLD.
"To paraphrase Law Society President Simon Davis: 'What does a junior lawyer at a global firm have in common with one at a sole practitioner's? Service'."
Asta is an associate at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP in Guildford and joined the committee in 2019. Asta is highly valued for her experience chairing the CILEx Chichester & District Branch and holding a post as a Vice Chair of the Guildford & District Branch, not to mention her obvious interest in supporting junior lawyers!
Asta is passionate about promoting the legal profession whenever possible with particular focus on equality and diversity amongst all levels of lawyers within our local area regardless of their field of expertise. With her own Eastern European background Asta is very proud to be part of a legal world that opens the doors to many great opportunities towards success.
Asta contributes to the committee's activities by assisting with organising events, engaging with junior lawyers and advising them on the various routes into law.
"Yes, I do work from home, but that’s not what makes me an in-house lawyer."
Tilly is an associate corporate counsel at Pure Storage who both trained and qualified in house. While thoroughly enjoying her training and being delighted with her current role, she well remembers how useful it would have been to have someone for guidance. Tilly joined the Surrey JLD committee in November 2020 as she 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.
Tilly is also passionate about equality and inclusion, relishing working with such a diverse team at Pure Storage and would love to play a part in promoting diversity. As someone who has faced additional obstacles on her legal journey, she readily values learning from and supporting those both in and entering the legal profession.
“As a Trainee Legal Executive I would have found it very valuable to be aware of Surrey JLD from an early stage.”
Daniel is an Intellectual Property & Dispute Resolution Solicitor at rhw Solicitors LLP. He originally qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive before cross-qualifying as a solicitor in 2018. Since 2008 Daniel has been an active member of the CILEx Guildford & District Branch, which supports Trainee Legal Executives and Chartered Legal Executives around Surrey.
Daniel has always found Surrey JLD events helpful from a networking perspective. He finds they offer a great opportunity for those in the legal profession to mix and exchange ideas where they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do so. As CILEx Representative he draws from his experience on the CILEx Guildford & District Branch committee to enhance our reach to the local CILEx network and improve their experience of progressing through the legal profession.
"It is never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot
Sapphira is a trainee solicitor at TWM Solicitors LLP and occupies a role unique to any JLD, that of Career Changer Representative. It is important that people recognise that not all junior lawyers are fresh out of university but that many enter the law from distinguished careers in other professions with the enhanced skills to show for it. Sapphira used to be a teacher and musician, and is familiar with providing guidance, running a business, networking and marketing, making her a great fit for the committee.
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, but also in promoting healthy and positive working practices.
Being a career changer, Sapphira is interested in supporting mature students who often face unique challenges in entering the industry, whilst also supporting equality and diversity in the legal profession generally.
“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. She hosts events on behalf of ULaw, for example a recent talk by a senior prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service, and presents her own talks at ULaw open days. As vice president for the Guildford campus Tabitha regularly meets with students to discuss their experiences and successfully campaign for change on their behalf.
Tabitha enjoys great links with the ULaw Guildford campus’ Employability team and appreciates the valuable resource for aspiring solicitors that is Surrey JLD. She helps to promote us to students by organising our involvement in events that help young lawyers like herself in these challenging times.
“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.
"Have you heard the good news about the Junior Lawyers Division?"
Ever wondered who takes the time and effort to craft and send our emails? Our favourite employment solicitor at Stevens & Bolton LLP, that's who! Chantelle has undertaken the role of Media & Communications Representative since joining the Surrey JLD Committee in November 2020, working with our Social Media & Publications Representatives to spread the word of our events and ensure maximum turnout.
As someone who has always enjoyed the events local JLD groups like ours arrange, Chantelle is only too happy to play her part in making life better for junior lawyers. New members can expect to be welcomed by her as the first point of contact when they email the committee.
"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.