Committee Recruitment

Committee Recruitment

YLAL believes that the provision of good quality publicly funded legal help is essential to protecting the interests of the vulnerable in society and upholding the rule of law. We warmly invite applications from motivated and engaged individuals who would like to join the committee which steers our work.

YLAL’s most recent recruitment round for new committee members ran from October – November 2023. You can find our recruitment call out for that round below.

Why are we are recruiting

YLAL has been advocating for legal aid and championing the work of young legal aid lawyers since 2005.

YLAL is now taking its next step and will be incorporating as a limited company in the coming months. Adopting a formal structure will give YLAL the ability to expand our areas of work, pursue greater funding opportunities, and provide greater support to our members. We will remain a non-profit entity as a limited company.

We are seeking new committee members to join YLAL as we take this exciting next step in our development. We are looking to recruit committee members from across the whole spectrum of legal aid work. The coming year will be vital for the future of legal aid with an election on the horizon, and we want to bolster the range of representation we have on our committee so that we can be as effective as possible in advocating for legal aid and for young legal aid lawyers.

We are also particularly keen to recruit new committee members who would be interested in / have experience relevant to helping to administer the ‘Social Welfare Solicitors Qualification Fund’, one of YLAL’s core projects. The Fund was set up by YLAL in collaboration with Barbi and the City of London Law Society and is about to enter its third year. In the context of significantly depleted funding for training opportunities, we believe this is an especially critical project.

Reasonable adjustments

We are committed to making our recruitment process and membership of the YLAL committee as accessible as possible. If you do require any adjustments please either specify on your application form and/or contact us at ylalinfo@gmail.com.

How does YLAL structure its work

YLAL’s work and priorities is guided by a committee. The commitee is headed up by YLAL’s co-chairs, 2-3 people who serve (normally) a two year term in leading the organisation. All committee members (including the co-chairs) are un-paid, this is a voluntary role.
YLAL’s work has historically fallen into three main areas – legal aid policy, social mobility, and membership support. 

LEGAL AID POLICY

This work aligns with YLAL’s objective to ‘campaign for a sustainable legal aid system, which provides good-quality legal help to those who could not otherwise afford to pay for it’. It includes engaging with the Ministry of Justice, working alongside the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG), responding to consultations, conducting research, and coordinating our legal aid campaign work.

SOCIAL MOBILITY

This work aligns with YLAL’s objective to ‘promote the interests of new entrants and junior lawyers and to increase social mobility and diversity within the legal aid sector’. It aims to tackle the barriers faced by many entrants to the profession, including the need to undertake unpaid internships to gain legal experience, poorly paid entry-level jobs (e.g. being a paralegal), and reduced training contract and pupillage places. The main focus of our social mobility work at the moment is the work we do in administering the Social Welfare Solicitors Qualification Fund.

MEMBERSHIP SUPPORT

This work aligns with YLAL’s objective to ‘provide a network for like-minded people beginning their careers in the legal aid sector’. It coordinates the support and services we provide our 3,500 members through the events we put on, our Jobs board, our mentoring scheme, our legal aid news bulletins, our website and our social media accounts.

There is scope to do more work across all three of our priority areas and the committee is structured in such a way that committee members have the power and are actively encouraged to lead on areas of work that you are interested in.

Time commitment

We expect committee members to be able to commit between three to four hours a week on average towards committee work. This is in addition to in-person attendance at approximately six -weekend committee meetings a year (reasonable travel expenses covered).

We know that life as a YLAL can be all-consuming and that our members have many commitments and demands on their time, so ask that committee members support one another by assisting with other roles and ad hoc tasks when needed to cover, for example, holidays or major work deadlines.

What we look for

There are no minimum criteria for applying to join the YLAL committee. We welcome applications from those who are relatively early on in their legal career, including students and paralegals – nobody is ever too junior to apply.

We encourage applications from members across England and Wales, with an emphasis on representing both regions.

Although there are no minimum criteria, we do take into account prior involvement with YLAL’s work, whether that be through volunteering or other forms of engagement. We do also expect applicants to be able to demonstrate an interest in legal aid work and/or areas of the law that have traditionally been publically funded. However, we are also conscious that many applicants will have excellent ideas for the development of YLAL and may not have had the opportunity to be involved previously, and this is something we take into consideration too.

Other skills, experience we are interested in

In addition to everything we’ve outlined above, we are particularly interested in applications from individual with skills, experience of interest in:

– Community organising

– Policy and campaigns work

– Volunteer management

– Communications and press

– Administration, including website management, WordPress and MailChimp

Please specify in your application if you have past experience in any of the above.