YLAL Meetings

This page contains information about recent and upcoming YLAL meetings and events across the country. Our current upcoming events are as follows:

- Wednesday 25 October 2017: YLAL North Advocacy from a Judicial Perspective & Insight into a Judicial Career at St John's Buildings Chambers in Sheffield. Please see the poster for further details.

- Wednesday 8 November 2017: YLAL North are hosting the Great Legal Quiz at Revolution, Sheffield. 

- Wednesday 8 November 2017: YLAL meeting in London, The Right to Justice, at Hodges Jones & Allen.

Please see below for full details of all upcoming events.

New members are welcome to come along to our meetings. Unless stated otherwise, there is no need to confirm your attendance - just turn up. 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!

London Meetings

We hold meetings in London at 6:30pm on the second Wednesday of every month. 

Our last meeting, 'Employment Tribunal Fees and the Right to Justice', was on Wednesday 11 October 2017 at 6:30pm in the Draught Orders bar at Hodge Jones & Allen, 180 North Gower Street, Kings Cross, London, NW1 2NB. We were joined by Karon Monaghan QC, who spoke about the recent judgment of the Supreme Court in the Unison employment tribunal fees case. We also discussed the final report of the Bach Commission on Access to Justice, 'The Right to Justice', which was published on 22 September 2017 and launched at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton.

We are finalising details of our next meeting in London, which will be on Wednesday 8 November 2017 - watch this space!

YLAL Midlands

Our last event in the Midlands was a careers event in Birmingham on Wednesday 18 October 2017, Becoming a Legal Aid LawyerThe event featured expert speakers from the solicitors' profession, the bar and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) including Karen Bailey (Bailey Wright & Co), David Swinnerton (Cornwall Street Chambers), Sam Coe (KCH Garden Square), Brooke Toon (Birmingham Community Law Centre) and Melinda Rice (Talbots Law).

We are currently planning our next events in the Midlands - watch this space.

For more information about YLAL Midlands or to get involved, follow YLAL Midlands on facebook and/or email ylalmidlands@gmail.com.

YLAL North

For more information or to get involved, join the YLAL North google group, follow YLAL North on facebook and/or email ylalnorth@gmail.com

On Tuesday 3 October 2017, YLAL in Manchester hosted an event on criminal law with Robert Stewart from Tranters Solicitors who spoke about life in the criminal courts as a higher court advocate; and Mark George QC, head of Garden Court North Chambers, who spoke about the impact of the Supreme Court case of Jogee on the law of joint enterprise. Many thanks to everyone who came! 

On Wednesday 25 October 2017 from 6pm, YLAL in Sheffield are having an event on advocacy and an overview of a career in the judiciary. His Honour Judge Robinson and District Judge Kelly will be delivering what will be a very interesting and insightful talk on how to be an effective advocate, as well as an overview of a career in the judiciary. For those who are interested, please sign up to register your attendance on Eventbrite. Numbers are limited.

On Wednesday 8 November 2017 from 6pm, YLAL Sheffield will be hosting the 'Great Legal Quiz' at Revolution (The Hidden Bar at Revolution, The Plaza, Units 1 &2, Fitzwilliam Street, Sheffield, S1 4JL). You can book on Eventbrite. Tickets are £5.00 - this includes a drink and canapes. The event is to raise funds for the Yorkshire Legal Support Trust, who support local advice agencies and charities. 


YLAL Liverpool's last event was 22 June 2017, at Exchange Chambers. 

YLAL seeks to represent YLALs from across all sectors, however we have a disproportionate number of members from the areas of civil legal aid. We are working to redress this balance nationally. This event was to hear from criminal lawyers on their experiences within criminal legal aid, the fight they have led against cuts to it and the reasons they continue to dedicate their professional lives to the sector.

We hosted Crime and Punishment? Criminal Legal Aid after LASPO 2012, with three fantastic speakers:

Zoe Gascoyne, Criminal solicitor and Partner at Quinn Melville. Zoe is also Chair of the Criminal Law Solicitors' Association (CLSA) which represents the interests of criminal lawyers across the UK. She has many years of experience in practice representing defendants in a wide variety of cases but she also has vast experiene of campaigning for justice and for legal aid as she stood at the forefront of campaigns against the cuts to criminal legal aid.

Peter Killen, Barrister at Exchange Chambers. Peter previously worked as a solicitor advocate. In 2007 he qualified as a Higher Courts Advocate and was called to the bar in 2015. He will be able to give members insight into an alternative route to the bar. He has acted as advocate for both defence and prosecution and has appeared at the court of appeal. 

Calum Whelan, Trainee solicitor, James Murray Solicitors. Calum is an accredited police station representative and now a trainee solicitor. He gave members insight into routes into criminal legal aid and described the difficulties facing junior lawyers in the sector at the present time.

Thanks to our speakers, and to the attendees.

For more information, follow YLAL Liverpool on facebook and/or email liverpoolylal@gmail.com

Please let us know if you can make it by emailing us ylalnorth@gmail.com or confirming you can attend on the Facebook event. There's a poster at the bottom of this page, feel free to circulate it. 


YLAL members Ronagh Craddock and Rachel Barnes are organising an introduction to legal aid meeting at Northumbria University. More details will be provided here and on the YLAL North facebook page and google group.

YLAL South West

Our latest event, Access to Justice Under Attack: Brexit, Charlie Gard and the Rule of Law was held on 12 October 2017 at Bristol Law Society. It took the form of a panel event and featured a number of expert practitioners: Sian Pearce (Avon & Bristol Law Centre), Emma Sutton (No5 Chambers), Mark Whitcombe (Old Square Chambers), Lydia Andrews (WSP Solicitors) and Helen Law (Matrix Chambers). Minutes can be found here

For more information about YLAL South West or to get involved, follow YLAL South West on Facebook and/or email ylalsouthwest@gmail.com