YLAL Meetings and Events

Coronavirus update:

Due to the unprecedented circumstances we now find ourselves in, we have taken the decision to postpone all upcoming events in person. You can find details of our previous physical meetings here

Details of our remote meetings and privacy statement are below.

Please read and share our first COVID-19 report, and our second COVID-19 report on how our practitioner members and their work have been affected. 

This page contains information about recent and upcoming YLAL meetings and events across the country. New members are always welcome to attend our meetings. There's no obligation to talk at the meetings - just come along and observe if you've never been to a meeting before and are nervous about speaking. On the other hand if you have lots to say, feel free to come along and say it!


Upcoming meetings

Our upcoming remote meetings will take place from 6:30pm on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 23 September 2020 - roundtable to discuss the Independent Review of Administrative Law and YLAL's response
  • Wednesday 14 October 2020 - Social mobility and diversity in the profession and Black Lives Matter 

You can check out recordings of our previous meetings on the minutes page

Our general privacy notice for remote events can be found below. 

Wednesday 23 September 2020 - Roundtable on the Independent Review of Administrative Law

The next #YLALVirtual will take place at 6.30pm, Wednesday 23 September via Zoom. We will be hosting a roundtable of junior legal aid public lawyers to crowdsource ideas for our response to the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL). Details of the participating lawyers are on the Eventbrite page. We very much hope that lots of our members will attend and contribute through the chat box. 

Please register for a free ticket here

Previous Remote Meetings

Wednesday 9 September 2020 - COVID-19: 6 months on

This #YLALvirtual event took place at 6.30pm on Wednesday 9 September 2020 via Zoom.

September marks 6 months since the UK went into lockdown and the passage of the Coronavirus Act. The pandemic has had, and continues to have, wide ranging impacts on legal aid lawyers and our clients.

In this meeting, we considered the impact of the pandemic across different areas of social welfare law and the criminal justice system.

We were delighted to be joined by four expert speakers:

  • Rose Arnall, Shelter
  • Rosalind Comyn, Liberty
  • Alice Irving, Doughty Street Chambers
  • Lady-Gené Waszkewitz, 25 Bedford Row

The event was magnificently chaired by YLAL's own Ciara Bartlam. 

22 July 2020: Legal Aid and Domestic Violence

On Wednesday 22 July 2020, YLAL hosted a #YLALVirtual event on 'Legal Aid and Domestic Violence'. 

Evidence suggests that the concerns of domestic violence victims and survivors are not being adequately addressed and have been exacerbated by the impact ‘lockdown’ has had on families. Developments, both in Parliament and in the courts, mean that changes in the way practitioners approach this issue may be necessary.


  • Zehrah Hasan, Pupil Barrister, Garden Court Chambers;
  • Pragna Patel, Founder and Director of Southall Black Sisters (SBS);
  • Cris McCurley, Partner and Solicitor, Ben Hoare Bell LLP; 
  • Katy Watts, Solicitor and Former Justice First Fellow, Public Law Project

A recording of the event will appear in the minutes section of our website shortly. You can find the minutes here

8 July 2020: Student Takeover

On 8 July 2020, YLAL hosted a 'Student Takeover' event. The event featured a panel of students and practitioners. The practitioners discussed their legal aid careers and resilience in the face of challenges. The event was chaired by Hafsah Hussain, recent BPTC Graduate from BPP, Leeds.

Practitioner Panel:

  • Thembi Fakoya-Sales, Solicitor at Mary Ward Legal Centre, Former Justice First Fellow;
  • Amie Higgins, Immigration Solicitor/Training Lead at Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit and Director of Bankfield Heath Solicitors;
  • Zeenat Islam, Barrister at 25 Bedford Row, London and junior counsel to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry;
  • Sophie Kenny, Pupil Barrister at 30 Park Place Chambers, Cardiff and Ex-British Army.

Student Panel:

  • Joe Berry Jones, Recent LPC Graduate from The University of Law, Christleton and Paralegal at Hopleys GMA Solicitors;
  • Holly Girven, Full-time BPTC Student at The University of Law;
  • Alice Norga, Second Year LLB Student at the London School of Economics (LSE);
  • Beth Stirling, Court of Protection Legal Assistant at Shoosmiths and Part-time BPTC Student at The University of Law.

The recording of the event is available in the minutes section of our website here

24 June 2020: Access to Justice and Legal Advice Deserts in Wales

On 24 June 2020, YLAL Cymru hosted its inaugural event, 'Access to Justice and Legal Advice Deserts in Wales'. The Commission on Justice in Wales recently identified substantial issues concerning access to justice and advice deserts.  In this meeting, we spoke to people from a range of sectors in Wales who are working hard to ensure clients can access justice. 

We were delighted to be joined by:

  • Angharad Price, EHRC Wales;
  • Annie Bannister and Sue James, North Wales Law Centre Project;
  • JJ Costello, Shelter Cymru;
  • Hussein Said, Speakeasy Law Centre.

A recording of the event will appear in the minutes section of our website shortly. You can find the minutes here

10 June 2020: Question Time with Parliament

On 10 June 2020, YLAL hosted a 'Question Time with Parliament' #YLALVirtual. This took the form of a question and answer session and provided a timely opportunity to hear from and question  parliamentarians given the ongoing threats to justice at this time.

The event featured a cross-party panel of Parliamentarians: 

  • Karl Turner MP, Shadow Minister for Legal Aid, Labour Party;
  • Baroness Natalie Bennett, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid, Green Party;
  • Daisy Cooper MP, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid, Liberal Democrats;
  • Liz Saville Roberts MP, Justice Spokesperson, Plaid Cymru;
  • James Daly MP, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid, Conservative Party. 

The recording of the event is available in the minutes section of our website here

Remote Meetings Privacy Statement

Unless stated otherwise above, YLAL will be hosting events on Zoom in conjunction with One Pump Court Chambers. You can read One Pump Court's privacy notice here.

We understand there have been some published concerns about Zoom, privacy and data, however, Zoom is a really effective environment to host meetings and seminars and we need to be practical and accessible. 

You can read Zoom’s privacy statement here and their official statement on EU GDPR compliance here.

If you are still concerned about privacy, you can take the following steps to protect yourself even further:

  • Do not install the application (nor any addons / plugins to web browser). 
  • Avoid using the service on professional devices (as far as possible).
  • Join the meeting via the web browser version: https://www.zoom.us/join.
  • Try to use a privacy protecting browser, such as Brave or Mozilla’s firefox.
  • Avoid turning on the camera if possible (and turn the camera off if you are not talking).

You can read our general privacy policy here