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 18 April 2018: New group meeting in Glasgow! All are welcome to discuss legal aid issues in Scotland and future possible events and activities for YLAL in Glasgow, Edinburgh and beyond. Meeting at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JD at 6.30pm (approx).

- Friday 20 April 2018: Greater Manchester Law Centre, in partnership with YLAL, Legal Aid and the Future of Free Access to Justice: Join Lord Bach, Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon MP, and Young Legal Aid Lawyers Vice-Chair Siobhán Taylor-Ward

- Wednesday 9 May 2018: Meeting in London

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



London meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month. Currently, they're held at Draught Orders, Hodge Jones and Allen (180 N Gower St, NW1 2NB – nearest tube Euston ). 

Our next meeting in London will be on Wednesday 9 May 2018. More information will be circulated soon. 

Email ylalinfo@gmail.com if you have any questions about our London meetings.

YLAL Midlands 

Our last meeting was in Nottingham with special guests HHJ Avik Mukherjee, and Alexandra Marks, former commissioner at the Judicial Appointments Commission, to discuss routes to the judiciary.

We also recently launched our social mobility report in Birmingham. 

Keep an eye on this page for announcements of future meetings and events. 

You can find out more about YLAL Midlands on our Facebook page, or by emailing us

YLAL North and Liverpool 

Our last meetings were to launch our social mobility report, in Salford and in Sheffield. 

Our next meeting is Legal Aid and the Future of Free Access to Justice, an event by the Greater Manchester Law Centre with Lord Bach, Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon, Young Legal Aid Lawyers Vice-Chair Siobhán Taylor-Ward and Joe Mensah-Dankwah of Black Solicitors Network.

It's on Friday 20th April 2018, 18:00-20:00, and it's being hosted by University of Law (just off Piccadilly Gardens: 2 New York St, Manchester M1 4HJ).

Everyone welcome: lawyers, campaigners, students, and everyone else interested in access to justice.

We will be discussing the current state of Legal Aid, the impact of the political changes, the challenges faced by the next generation of social welfare lawyers and our hope for the future. 

Lord William Bach was a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice, and he was elected the Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016. Crucially, he chaired the Bach Commission, which published its report on Legal Aid and access to justice in Autumn 2017. With an impressive and expert team of commissioners and extensive engagement with people’s experiences, the final report proposed a statutory right to justice and other systemic reforms. This work is of particular importance because of the impending Governmental review of Legal Aid cuts.

Richard Burgon is the Member of Parliament for Leeds East. He is also the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor. He recently declared a ‘battle to reverse Legal Aid cuts’. In response to the Bach Commission’s Report he stated that he is “excited by the idea in the report of a new, legally enforceable right to justice to match our rights to healthcare and education”.

Siobhán Taylor-Ward is Vice-Chair of Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL). YLAL is a group of lawyers who are committed to practising in those areas of law, both criminal and civil, that have traditionally been publicly funded. They campaign for a sustainable legal aid system which provides good quality legal help to those who could not otherwise afford to pay for it and fight to increase social mobility and diversity within the legal aid sector. Siobhán is also a tireless campaigner for access to justice, having worked on the Hillsborough inquest and the Orgreave Justice campaign.

Joe Mensah-Dankwah is a senior solicitor at Foresters Solicitors and Board Member of the Black Solicitors Network. He specialises in criminal defence, in particular joint enterprise murder, drugs cases and defending young people. The Black Solicitors Network is the primary voice of black solicitors in England and Wales; committed to achieving equality of access, retention and promotion of black solicitors.

If you are a barrister who has held a practising certificate for less than three years, you can claim CPD for attending this event.

Please contact development@gmlaw.org.uk for any questions.

Keep an eye on this page for announcements of future meetings and events. 

You can find out more about YLAL North on our Facebook page, or by emailing us

YLAL Liverpool 

Our last meeting was to launch our social mobility report. 

Keep an eye on this page for announcements of future meetings and events. 

You can find out more about YLAL Liverpool on our Facebook page, or by emailing us. 

YLAL South West

Our last meeting was to launch our social mobility report. 

Keep an eye on this page for announcements of future meetings and events. 

You can find out more about YLAL South West on our Facebook page, or by emailing us