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 14 June 2017: After the Election: What Next for Legal Aid?, London meeting at Hodge Jones & Allen
- Thursday 22 June 2017: YLAL Liverpool event: Crime and Punishment? Criminal Legal Aid after LASPO 2012 
- Thursday 22 June 2017: Summer Social, Virgin Money and Bamboo Door in Sheffield
- Thursday 29 June 2017: A Day in the Life of a Young Legal Aid Lawyer, YLAL Midlands event at Cornwall Street Chambers in Birmingham

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 on the second Wednesday of every month. 

For our last meeting in London, we hosted 'Access to Justice After the Election: Panel Debate' with speakers representing each of the main political parties: Mark Trafford QC (Society of Conservative Lawyers), Catherine Atkinson (Society of Labour Lawyers), Alistair Webster QC (Liberal Democrat Lawyers Association), and Charley Pattison (Green Party Justice spokesperson). You can see the minutes on our website here.

Our next meeting, 'After the Election: What Next for Legal Aid?', will be on 14 June 2017 from 6:30pm at Hodge Jones & Allen. As it falls in the week following the general election, we will be considering the outcome of the election and the possible consequences for access to justice and legal aid - what happens next and what can we do? We are delighted to be joined by Carol Storer, director of Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG), who will provide her expert insights as a campaigner and representative of legal aid lawyers young, old and in-between.

The meeting will be held in the Basement Bar at Hodge Jones & Allen, 180 North Gower Street, Kings Cross, London, NW1 2NB. The poster for the event is at the bottom of this page. We look forward to seeing you there!

YLAL Midlands

The next YLAL Midlands event will be 'A Day in the Life of a Young Legal Aid Lawyer' at 6:30pm on Thursday 29 June at Cornwall Street Chambers (85-87 Cornwall Street, Birmingham, B3 3BY). Join us to hear from junior solicitors and barristers based in the Midlands about their day-to-day experiences as legal aid lawyers in crime, family, housing, public law and human rights.

The poster for the event is at the bottom of this page. All are welcome and the event is free to attend, but we would be grateful if you could register your attendance at the event on the YLAL Midlands Facebook page

We have also planned events for Friday 4 August 2017; a social, and an event for Wednesday 18 October 2017; Becoming a legal aid lawyer. Please save the dates. 

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

We will be speaking at the Lawyers Against Poverty networking event at Apotheca, Manchester on 12 June 2017.


YLAL Liverpool's next event will be on 22 June 2017, at Exchange Chambers, 1 Derby Square, L2 9XX. 

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. In Liverpool this event is intended to allow us 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'll be hosting Crime and Punishment? Criminal Legal Aid after LASPO 2012. We have 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 will give members insight into routes into criminal legal aid as well as describing the difficulties facing junior lawyers in the sector at the present time.

We also want to hear from you. We hope many members who are either interested in, studying in or working in criminal legal aid will come along to hear our fantastic speakers talk but also to contribute questions during a Q&A session at the end. Most importantly we want to hear your views on how YLAL can better support criminal YLALs and what the important issues are to those of you working in the sector today.

Wine, hot drinks and refreshments will be provided and we hope to have time to network and discuss following on from our discussion.

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


Our last event was at Garden Court North Chambers in Manchester and featured two of its barristers, Lucy Mair and Vijay Jagadesham who discussed the political underpinnings of the Mediterranean refugee crisis and reported back from their experience providing legal assistance in the humanitarian crisis of Greece’s refugee camps. 


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 Sheffield has organised a Summer Social for 2017, which is due to take place on Thursday 22 June at 4.30pm. We have reserved the bowling alley at Virgin Money bank on Fargate, Sheffield until 6.30pm. People are welcome to join at any time for bowling until 6.30pm.

We will then continue with the socialising at the Bamboo Door bar in Leopold Square from 6.30pm onwards.

In order to attend you will need to register your interest via ylalnorth@gmail.com This event has kindly been sponsored by CRA recruitment in Sheffield.  Please see attached poster for further details.

YLAL South West

YLAL South West's last meeting was a panel event on Tuesday 7th February 2017 at the University of Law, Bristol. A summary can be found on the Minutes page

Details of future meetings of YLAL South West will be posted here. For more information or to get involved, follow YLAL South West on Facebook and/or email YLALsouthwest@gmail.com.