First one later this year
The Law Society has announced plans to trial regional admission ceremonies after a successful campaign by a solicitor convinced them to broaden access to the events.
Until now admission ceremonies have been exclusively London-based events in which newly qualified solicitors can celebrate their entrance to the profession. The formal ceremonies take place in the Law Society’s Chancery Lane headquarters.
Manchester-based in-house solicitor and blogger Emma Lilley began the campaign “mission admission” after she was unable to attend her own ceremony following her qualification in 2018. She says she felt prohibited by “expensive train fares and accommodation, plus the £95 per person ticket fee”.
The campaign won its first victory when the Law Society started live-streaming all London ceremonies last summer and the first regional trial will take place sometime this year.
The location of the regional trial is still to be determined but Lilley has posted on Instagram saying that one regional ceremony “is absolutely not enough for us” and that the campaign would continue “to fight for multiple regional ceremonies across England and Wales in future”.
James Joseph, bar course graduate and co-founder of Mission Admissions, commented:
“Both Emma and I are delighted that the Law Society are actively working to engage with Mission Admissions and are open to localised admission ceremonies. As with everything we have seen since the pandemic: professions must be open to change, and the legal sector is no different. Emma’s work shows the appetite is there and that there is overwhelming desire for regional ceremonies. We are excited to be able to work with the law society to make this happen.”
A Law Society spokesperson said:
“Qualifying as a solicitor is a huge achievement and the Law Society is looking for viable ways for more people to attend admission ceremonies and celebrate this milestone with friends and family. We must do this in a way that is accessible, meets demand and is financially viable. We hope to trial the first Law Society regional admission ceremony later this year.”