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  • Writer's pictureSundeep Bhatia

What exactly is The. Law Society Council? by Sundeep Bhatia

Thursday 10th July marked the end of The Law Society year.

The second day of a Law Society Council meeting was followed by the 2014 Annual General Meeting .

Andrew Caplen became the 107th President of The Law Society of England and Wales.He emerged,first among equals,from within the membership of The Law Society Council.

There are just over 90 Members of The Law Society Council of England and Wales and there are several types .

Firstly there are Members who hold Geographical seats. Secondly there are those who hold specialist Law seats. Thirdly there are those who represent particular communities such as Disabled,Ethnic Minority ,Junior Lawyers Division or Sole Practitioners.

Most Council seats are filled by way of election.

Others ,belonging to representative organisations,such as The Black Solicitors Network,are filled by way of appointment.

I am one of three Council Members representing the Ethnic Minority Constituency.

Council can be described as the Parliament of The Law Society and meets every five weeks between October and July.

Council can also be convened ,at short notice ,for additional Emergency meetings.

Prior to Council Meetings Members are sent a substantial quantity of papers to read in preparation for the next meeting.

Decisions are reached ,at Council meetings,following debate,regarding the policy of The Law Society.

There are two kinds of Council papers.

Part one papers are in the Public Domain. They can be found on the Corporate affairs section of The Law Society website.

Others are part two.This means that they are confidential and cannot be discussed outside of Law Society Council meetings. A number of papers become Part one once they are debated by Council.

Members of Council are given opportunities to contribute to the profession in addition to Council Meetings.

Boards formulate policy to put before The Law Society Council.Council Members have the opportunity to put themselves forward for election to these boards.

I serve on the Regulatory Affairs Board.

There are also a number of committees covering different areas of Law. I serve on the Equality and Diversity and Employment Law Committees.

My presence on those committees enables me to stay in touch with these fast changing areas of Law.

I also have the opportunity to contribute to these areas of Law by means of contributing to and/or commenting on Law Society responses to Government consultations.

Council also elects the President of the Law Society from its Members. The procedure is as follows. Council Elects the Deputy Vice President. One year later the Deputy Vice President becomes Vice President. Twelve months later the Vice President becomes President.

I am honoured to be a Council Member. My Membership enables me to interact with different types of Solicitor across the spectrum of the profession. Reading up on different areas of Law sharpens my intellect .

Membership of Council also allows me to broaden my horizons by making me aware of issues not directly affecting areas in which I practice

On 23rd September I will be one of four Council Members speaking at a seminar discussing how diversity in Council might be increased.

It would be an achievement if the event could persuade more people ,from differing backgrounds,to put themselves forward.

To book your place please click on the link below

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