Choose your Leeds JLD Committee for 2023
FELT/IN-HOUSE OFFICER:
LEIGH FREEMAN

Introduction

I would like to apply for the role of FELT within the Leeds JLD committee for the upcoming year. Coming from a firm with only 7/8 trainees myself, I understand and appreciate how daunting big networking events can be and how the events put on by the FELT committee member can be so supportive in helping people find their confidence in the world of networking.

 

Experience

I believe I would be a good candidate for the role, and my previous experience highlights the key qualities that I possess to continue the important work that the FELT role provides.

During my time as President of the University of Huddersfield Women’s Rugby Union team, I arranged multiple events throughout the year, ranging from pub quiz nights and World Cup watch parties to sober events such as bowling and team meals to ensure everyone felt included. This involved contacting venues, confirming numbers, organising catering and keeping on top of communication to the wider team as well as being the main point of contact between venues, catering providers and the team that were attending.

 

These skills have been further developed during my time at Schofield Sweeney as a member of our firm’s social committee. This has allowed me to assist in the larger corporate events for the firm wide Christmas and summer parties, and single-handedly organising the smaller department events that have been put on. Examples of the events that I have arranged have been department Christmas parties, where I have gathered department insight as to what team members would like to do, as well as networking events for our professional network, most recently a wine tasting night at Veeno.

 

What I’d like to do

If I were to get the FELT role, I would like to continue the work that Harvey has done the past 3 years with the fun, interactive and engaging activities.

 

As well as the various activities/events that have been put on in previous years, such as cocktail making, bowling and talks, I would like to continue the ‘forced networking’ approach to help people learn ‘how’ to network. This can be through quiz nights or an escape room or by pre-organising teams to split people from the same firm up and encourage them to speak to unfamiliar faces in an engaging format.

 

From my experience, trainees from smaller firms and firms with fewer trainees haven’t been exposed to many large-scale networking events throughout their career, and can sometimes struggle or find it overwhelming once they begin to attend networking events with other lawyers and professionals. This has only been exacerbated as a result of the pandemic, and therefore it is more important than ever that the FELT officer can provide events that help people grow and develop this skill.