Feedback from London YRes Members

Hi everyone

Over the past few months many of you will have been contacted by a member of the London YRes committee for your input on how we’re doing and what we could do more/differently to help you learn, network and socialise.

We will be emailing out a summary of the key themes that came out of those discussions in the next couple of days, but this here is a more detailed review of the feedback we got from our members, together with some information about what we are already doing to meet these needs and provisional thoughts about what else we can do improve things further.

If you were not part of the initial consultation but would like to share your thoughts on any of the items below (or anything else) do feel free to contact a member of the committee.  Even better, share your thoughts on the forum (you’re going to hear that a lot!)

Talks – Frequency

In 2017 we have put on seven evening talks – up from five in 2016.  We didn’t get any feedback asking for us to organise more which is good, since with three drinks events a year as well we are pretty much fully occupied.

One thing we are trying to do, however, is give you better awareness of what other events are going on that you might be interested in.  We now have a specific page on the website with other groups’ events aimed at junior family lawyers.  If you see or are organising an event aimed at junior lawyers that you would like  publicised, email one of the committee or post it on the forum and we’ll add it to the list.

Talks – Subject Matter

We have tried over the past couple of years to cover a range of topics, across technical law, skills and more general family breakdown information like last year’s talk on the impact of parental conflict on children.  On the whole, we have leaned towards more introductory-level talks as we are aware there are already a lot of technical talks available from Resolution, barristers’ chambers and other providers aimed at more senior practitioners.

We received a full spread of views from our respondents.  Some people wanted us to focus more on the law, other people on skills.  Some people thought the talks needed to be more advanced (particularly as YRes now stretches up to 10PQE) and others really appreciated the effort to keep things more introductory.  Overall, our view is that the best plan is to continue to provide a mixture of topics and for several of them to be aimed towards the junior end of our membership.  There are plenty of other providers out there offering more advanced talks but not many offering high quality introductions to specialist family topics.

One suggestion, which we will try to follow up on, is to introduce the occasional talk about career development and associated skills (e.g. networking) and hopefully one of our talks next year will relate to these sorts of issues.

It was also suggested, and we think this is a great idea, that all our flyers in future should include a bit more detail about what the talk will cover so that it is easier to tell whether the talk will be relevant to you.  You should start to see this appearing from our January 2018 talk onwards.

Don’t forget though that (in our view at least) the opportunity to meet other members over a drink after the talk is as important as what you learn from the talk itself, so do still think about coming along even if the topic is not quite your bag.

If you haven’t yet checked out the forum on the website, there is a thread already started where you can suggest possible topics for future talks or good speakers that you think we should get in touch with.

Talks – Price

A number of people told us that some junior solicitors are expected to pay for their own course fees for coming to our events, although we did not hear from many of those members direct.  We take the view that £20 for our talks is pretty good value, but it is a shame to think that some members are having to meet this from their own pocket.  Starting this year we have committed to holding at least one free talk per year (this year it was negotiation skills) and we really hope that anyone usually priced out of our events will come to these free talks in future.

Talks – Timing and Location

Some members, particularly those located outside Central London, observed that it can be difficult to get into town for a 6pm talk (or, at all) and can be particularly problematic for those with childcare responsibilities.  We are sympathetic to those difficulties, but it seems to us that any change in time (either earlier or later) or location would bring its own problems.  We are also limited by the fact that we tend to host our talks at the offices of committee members and have very few funds to spend on external venues.  Having discussed this, we are not proposing to change the current arrangements, but if this is something a lot of people feel strongly about we can review it again, so if this affects you do email one of us or comment on the forum.

Parties

We host three parties a year – Summer and Christmas parties that are open to all members and New Joiner’s Drinks each October for members who have recently joined Resolution and for others who are thinking of joining.  All three events are always well attended and feedback was very positive.  If you haven’t been to one it is a great place to come and get to know your peers in a relaxed, friendly environment.  Incidentally, this year’s Christmas party is going to be Mark’s last event as Chair and it’s his intention that it is the best party we’ve hosted to date, so put 5 December 2017 in your diary and look out for a full invitation soon!

Awareness

A surprising number of people said that they did not receive our monthly emails or flyers about upcoming events. We are taking a number of steps to rectify this going forward:

  • Going forward, email newsletters are now being sent via an email automation service to reduce the chance of them ending up in your junk folder
  • Hard copy invites are being sent to all London Resolution members (not just YRes members), generally enclosed with London Region events
  • Details of all our talks can now be found on our website [PROTIP – WHY NOT BOOKMARK THAT PAGE?] at and will be updated regularly and well in advance of the event
  • We’ll also be tweeting about our events and other things we think might interest you – follow us at @YResLondon

If you change firms at any point then do let Resolution know as soon as possible as that is where we get our contact list.  If they don’t know you’ve moved then you’re going to miss out on invites until the system catches up with you (although you can still check the website, of course).

Local Networking

Several people suggested they would like help meeting other YRes members in their vicinity, especially those based outside Central London.  We don’t really have any formal way of doing this at the moment but we are certainly happy to make some email introductions to help you get going.  If you find yourself in this situation then do email one of the committee who can help you identify other members located nearby.  You might also find it helpful to use the Resolution Find a Member search which will let you search by postcode, or why not start a thread on the forum?

Finally

We know that walking into a room of people you don’t know can be hard, especially when everyone else seem to know each other.  An important reason YRes was set up was to create some events that were less intimidating to help introduce new Resolution members into the community and to meet other new members in a similar position.  If you are interested in coming to an event but are worried you won’t know anyone, do get in touch with a member of the committee and we will keep an eye out for you and introduce you to a few existing members.  I promise we don’t bite, and you’ll be getting to know your contemporaries in no time.

Hopefully this gives you a flavour of the things the committee have been thinking about recently.  If you have any questions or comments, do let us know or (for the last time) post them on the forum!

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