YLAL Meetings and Events

Coronavirus update:

Due to the unprecedented circumstances we now find ourselves in, we have taken the decision to postpone all upcoming events in person. You can find details of our previous physical meetings here

Details of our remote meetings and privacy statement are below.

Please read and share our first COVID-19 report, and our second COVID-19 report on how our practitioner members and their work have been affected. 

This page contains information about recent and upcoming YLAL meetings and events across the country. New members are always welcome to attend our meetings. 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!

 

Upcoming meetings

Our upcoming remote meetings will take place from 6:30pm on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 21 and 28 October 2020 - Racial Diversity in the Professions: Then and Now
  • Wednesday 11 November 2020 - YLAL Cymru: Focus on Asylum and Immigration 

You can check out recordings of our previous meetings on the minutes page

Our general privacy notice for remote events can be found below. 

21 and 28 October 2020 - Racial Diversity in the Professions: Then and Now

Over two weeks, Young Legal Aid Lawyers will be holding two crucial events on racial diversity in the legal system. 

In the wake of the death of George Floyd in the United States, Black Lives Matter protests sprung up across the country forcing the UK to reflect on the way in which Black people are treated at the hands of police here. As we learned that Black men are 10 times more likely to be stopped and searched and Black people are more likely to be given longer sentences of imprisonment, stories from the other side – from the lawyers themselves – began to emerge. With Black barristers being mistaken for defendants in Court, Black solicitors being accused by police of interfering in arrests and only 1% of the Judiciary identifying as Black – now is the time to reflect on how the lack of racial diversity in the legal profession impacts upon the system as a whole. 

The events comprise two panel sessions on Wednesday 21 and 28 October 2020.


Panel Session 1: The Lawyers

The first event took place on Wednesday 21 October and featured a range of practitioners at different stages in their career, offering their perspectives on racial diversity. 

The format involved panellists speaking on their experiences and recommendations for the profession, on topics such as anti-Blackness, regional differences, anti-oppression training, affirmative action, reverse mentoring and ally-ship. 

We were delighted to be joined by the following expert speakers:

  • Quaam Animashaun, Marketing Manager at Leigh Day
  • Dexter Dias QC, Garden Court Chambers
  • Abimbola Johnson, 25 Bedford Row
  • Lauren Mercurius-Taylor, MTC Solicitors
  • Sonali Naik QC, Garden Court Chambers
  • Mark Robinson, Criminal Defence Lawyer
  • Aneela Samrai, Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors
  • Natasha Shotunde, Garden Court Chambers
  • Christian Weaver, GCN Chambers & #TheLawIn60Seconds

The event was co-chaired by Monidipa Fouzder from the Law Society Gazette and YLAL committee member, Hafsah Hussain.

You can view the recording of the event here.


Panel Session 2: The System

Our second follow up event will take place on Wednesday 28 October, where the recommendations will be put forward to representatives of legal regulators and associated organisations in the justice system. 

We are delighted to be joined by the following representatives:

  • Jenny Agboke, HM Courts and Tribunal Service
  • Hekim Hannan, Ethnic Minority Lawyers Division of the Law Society 
  • Esme Kemp, Immigration Law Practitioners' Association
  • Edwina Koroma, Inner Temple Outreach
  • Sam Mercer, Bar Council
  • Laurie-Anne Power, Criminal Bar Association

We look forward to seeing how the suggestions arising from the sessions can develop improved racial diversity practices across the profession.

The event will be co-chaired by Monidipa Fouzder from the Law Society Gazette and YLAL committee member, Hafsah Hussain.

We are really grateful to One Pump Court for kindly hosting both events.

You can book your ticket to the second event here.

11 November 2020 - YLAL Cymru: Spotlight on Asylum and Immigration

Sut mae gweithio ym maes cyfraith lloches a mewnfudo yng Nghymru? Beth sydd angen ei wneud i sicrhau mynediad at gyfiawnder ar gyfer rhai o'n cymunedau allgaëedicaf? Pa rôl a allai ac a ddylai cyfreithwyr ei chwarae ar adeg pan mae senoffobia a chasineb tuag at geiswyr lloches yn cynyddu? All Cymru fod yn 'Genedl Noddfa'?

Ymunwch â ni am drafodaeth panel efo'r cyfreithwyr ac ymgyrchwyr sy'n gweithio yn sector lloches a mewnfudo.

Siaradwyr:

  • Hilary Brown, Virgo Consultancy Services
  • Mona Bayoumi, Civitas Law
  • Hayley Morgan, Prosiect Teithio Ymlaen, TGP Cymru
  • Siân Pearce, Asylum Justice

Rhan 2 o gyfres o ddigwyddiadau CICC Cymru sy'n rhoi sbotolau ar brofiadau ymarfer cymorth cyfreithiol a mynediad at gyfiawnder yng Nghymru.

Archebwch eich lle!
 

What is it like to work in asylum and immigration law in Wales? What must be done to ensure access to justice for some of our most marginalised communities? What role can and should lawyers play in a climate of rising xenophobia and hostility to migrants and asylum seekers? Can Wales be a 'Nation of Sanctuary'?

Join us for a panel discussion with lawyers and campaigners working in the immigration and asylum sector.

Speakers:

  • Hilary Brown, Virgo Consultancy Services
  • Mona Bayoumi, Civitas Law
  • Hayley Morgan, Travelling Ahead Project, TGP Cymru
  • Siân Pearce, Asylum Justice

Part 2 of a series of YLAL Cymru events to shine a spotlight on the realities of legal aid practice and access to justice in Wales.

Book your place!

Previous Remote Meetings

Wednesday 23 September 2020 - Roundtable on the Independent Review of Administrative Law

This #YLALVirtual took place at 6.30pm on Wednesday 23 September via Zoom.

We hosted a roundtable of junior legal aid public lawyers to crowdsource ideas for our response to the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL). Minutes of the meeting will be available shortly.

You can watch a recording of the event here

Wednesday 9 September 2020 - COVID-19: 6 months on

This #YLALvirtual event took place at 6.30pm on Wednesday 9 September 2020 via Zoom.

September marks 6 months since the UK went into lockdown and the passage of the Coronavirus Act. The pandemic has had, and continues to have, wide ranging impacts on legal aid lawyers and our clients.

In this meeting, we considered the impact of the pandemic across different areas of social welfare law and the criminal justice system.

We were delighted to be joined by four expert speakers:

  • Rose Arnall, Shelter
  • Rosalind Comyn, Liberty
  • Alice Irving, Doughty Street Chambers
  • Lady-Gené Waszkewitz, 25 Bedford Row

The event was magnificently chaired by YLAL's own Ciara Bartlam. 

The recording of the event is available in the minutes section of our website here

22 July 2020: Legal Aid and Domestic Violence

On Wednesday 22 July 2020, YLAL hosted a #YLALVirtual event on 'Legal Aid and Domestic Violence'. 

Evidence suggests that the concerns of domestic violence victims and survivors are not being adequately addressed and have been exacerbated by the impact ‘lockdown’ has had on families. Developments, both in Parliament and in the courts, mean that changes in the way practitioners approach this issue may be necessary.

Panel:

  • Zehrah Hasan, Pupil Barrister, Garden Court Chambers;
  • Pragna Patel, Founder and Director of Southall Black Sisters (SBS);
  • Cris McCurley, Partner and Solicitor, Ben Hoare Bell LLP; 
  • Katy Watts, Solicitor and Former Justice First Fellow, Public Law Project

You can find the minutes from the event here

8 July 2020: Student Takeover

On 8 July 2020, YLAL hosted a 'Student Takeover' event. The event featured a panel of students and practitioners. The practitioners discussed their legal aid careers and resilience in the face of challenges. The event was chaired by Hafsah Hussain, recent BPTC Graduate from BPP, Leeds.

Practitioner Panel:

  • Thembi Fakoya-Sales, Solicitor at Mary Ward Legal Centre, Former Justice First Fellow;
  • Amie Higgins, Immigration Solicitor/Training Lead at Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit and Director of Bankfield Heath Solicitors;
  • Zeenat Islam, Barrister at 25 Bedford Row, London and junior counsel to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry;
  • Sophie Kenny, Pupil Barrister at 30 Park Place Chambers, Cardiff and Ex-British Army.

Student Panel:

  • Joe Berry Jones, Recent LPC Graduate from The University of Law, Christleton and Paralegal at Hopleys GMA Solicitors;
  • Holly Girven, Full-time BPTC Student at The University of Law;
  • Alice Norga, Second Year LLB Student at the London School of Economics (LSE);
  • Beth Stirling, Court of Protection Legal Assistant at Shoosmiths and Part-time BPTC Student at The University of Law.

The recording of the event is available in the minutes section of our website here

24 June 2020: Access to Justice and Legal Advice Deserts in Wales

On 24 June 2020, YLAL Cymru hosted its inaugural event, 'Access to Justice and Legal Advice Deserts in Wales'. The Commission on Justice in Wales recently identified substantial issues concerning access to justice and advice deserts.  In this meeting, we spoke to people from a range of sectors in Wales who are working hard to ensure clients can access justice. 

We were delighted to be joined by:

  • Angharad Price, EHRC Wales;
  • Annie Bannister and Sue James, North Wales Law Centre Project;
  • JJ Costello, Shelter Cymru;
  • Hussein Said, Speakeasy Law Centre.

A recording of the event will appear in the minutes section of our website shortly. You can find the minutes here

10 June 2020: Question Time with Parliament

On 10 June 2020, YLAL hosted a 'Question Time with Parliament' #YLALVirtual. This took the form of a question and answer session and provided a timely opportunity to hear from and question  parliamentarians given the ongoing threats to justice at this time.

The event featured a cross-party panel of Parliamentarians: 

  • Karl Turner MP, Shadow Minister for Legal Aid, Labour Party;
  • Baroness Natalie Bennett, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid, Green Party;
  • Daisy Cooper MP, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid, Liberal Democrats;
  • Liz Saville Roberts MP, Justice Spokesperson, Plaid Cymru;
  • James Daly MP, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid, Conservative Party. 

The recording of the event is available in the minutes section of our website here

Remote Meetings Privacy Statement

Unless stated otherwise above, YLAL will be hosting events on Zoom in conjunction with One Pump Court Chambers. You can read One Pump Court's privacy notice here.

We understand there have been some published concerns about Zoom, privacy and data, however, Zoom is a really effective environment to host meetings and seminars and we need to be practical and accessible. 

You can read Zoom’s privacy statement here and their official statement on EU GDPR compliance here.

If you are still concerned about privacy, you can take the following steps to protect yourself even further:

  • Do not install the application (nor any addons / plugins to web browser). 
  • Avoid using the service on professional devices (as far as possible).
  • Join the meeting via the web browser version: https://www.zoom.us/join.
  • Try to use a privacy protecting browser, such as Brave or Mozilla’s firefox.
  • Avoid turning on the camera if possible (and turn the camera off if you are not talking).

You can read our general privacy policy here