The image of The Law Society as old and stuffy will be put to the test this week as the Trainee Solicitors' Group (TSG) campaigns for a designated seat on the council.
The application for a seat goes before the Council
Membership Committee on Wednesday and the TSG is confident of success.
However, committee chairwoman Margaret Anstey has warned that the trainees will have to convince the society to either change its constitution, or remove another group from one of the 14 non-constituency, seats before it can join the inner sanctum.
The TSG was denied a seat last year, but chairwoman Susannah Haan argues that with 25,000 members paying £1.3m in fees, the TSG is arguably the largest unrepresented group of Law Society fee-payers. As the society is undergoing a constitutional review, now would be the perfect time to act.
“We can argue 'no taxation without representation'. Half the profession is made up of young solicitors and most of the council is not, so we think they should let more young people in.”
Young Solicitors' Group chairman, Richard Moorehead believes a TSG seat is essential to ensure the “democratic health and future vitality” of the society.
“[The council] is badly out of kilter with the make-up of the profession,” he says.
Anstey has “no strong opinion” on the issue, but points out that the charter both limits the number of non-constituency seats and allows only admitted solicitors to join the council, forbidding trainees.
She says changing the charter would be “elaborate”. “It would mean taking seats away from others,” she adds.