Q&A with Judge Elizabeth Johnson
As seen in the Spring Journal, to celebrate the launch of the new online Pre-Application Judicial Education (PAJE) programme and the appointment of two new CILEx Judges to the judiciary, the Devon Branch held a Q&A session with Judge Elizabeth Johnson on the application process. The event was held on 23 May at Ashfords in Exeter.
Elizabeth Johnson is the first female Chartered Legal Executive to be appointed to the judiciary. She was appointed as a Fee-Paid Judge of the First-Tier Tribunal in January 2019. Elizabeth has been assigned to the Social Entitlement Chamber.
Elizabeth went through the selection process, giving helpful tips and information on how to complete the applications within the time-limited deadlines.
Elizabeth's biggest tip (which was given to her by a Judge during her own application process) was that you must start to create a "brag list" now and keep a record of your experience that will match the five competency frameworks that must be met, relevant to the post you are applying for. You must also make sure that you have a further three to four additional competencies to hand, ready to rely upon when asked further competencies in the interview. Those competencies do not have to relate to tasks done at work, but can also relate to activities outside of work and experience in other roles, such as being a Scout Leader.
Elizabeth also explained that there is lots of helpful information about the process on the JAC website, as well as links to short questionnaires, such as Are you ready to be a Judge, which is a great starting point for anyone thinking of applying for a judicial role. She also recommended that the general feedback reports provided by the JAC online are read. Elizabeth's further tip was to make sure you take your time to ensure you are ready before you commence the application process, but there is no harm in having a few "test" runs first to build up confidence.
Feedback provided by those in attendance was very positive, and we are grateful for Elizabeth taking her time to talk to the Branch.
On 11 May 2019, members of the Branch proudly walked in the Exeter 2019 Pride Walk, showcasing the Branch and CILEx's support for the LGBT community.
North Devon Cocktail Making
On 8 May 2019, attendees from the North Devon area joined for a cocktail making evening at Bar 62 The Bank. A fantastic night was had by all and some great support for members of CILEx from North Devon. Watch out for the next event!
CPD Workshop: Know Your Worth
On Wednesday, 3 April 2019, the Branch held a CPD Workshop on Negotiation Technique Training - "Know Your Worth" at The Family Law Company in Exeter. This Workshop was kindly presented by Barry Wilding-Webb, Training Manager at Tozers in Exeter.
This informative and worthwhile workshop covered the following negotiation techniques:
- Knowing your worth
- What value you will add
- Pay review
- Confidence in negotiation techniques
- Charge-out rates
- Billing targets
- New and greater responsibilities
- Work-type supervision
- Future development
Barry discussed negotiation skills and involved role play in the session, which was engaging and useful. Attendees were also provided with a useful handout of pre-interview preparation tips, questions you might ask during negotiation and the best approaches to aim for, for example the win-win approach.
The Devon Branch is keen to promote well-being, and therefore held a Yoga Class on Friday, 15 March. The one hour class was hosted by Annelie Carver of Seventh Sense Healing and was held at St Luke's Church Rooms in Exeter.
This event enabled Branch Members to meet in a relaxing social environment and to wind down at the end of the busy working week.
On 1 March 2019, the Devon Branch held a social event at the Hyde Park Pub in Plymouth, in order to promote the Devon Branch and the amazing things that we achieve, as well as to attract new members.
A great time was had by everyone in attendance!
CPD Event: Unconscious Bias by Melanie Palethorpe from Michelmores
On 21 February 2019, the Branch held a CPD Event on Unconscious Bias at Michelmores in Exeter. Mel Palethorpe, who is a Michelmores LLP Learning and Talent Development Specialist, kindly provided the training session. It was a very interesting and interactive session, which focused on our behaviours and shining the light on our unconscious bias within the workplace and when conducting our roles.
We were all invited to discuss how we behave and our thought processes in many situations. We were encouraged to think about our decision processes, to mitigate bias as much as possible and to ensure objective and fair decision making in our working day.
All that attended were very interactive and found the session valuable.
Annual General Meeting
On 6 February the Branch held the Annual General Meeting. We are delighted to announce that the Committee posts for 2019 are as follows:
Chair: Gemma Rowe
Vice Chair: Gemma Sparks
Treasurer and Membership Secretary: Daisy Otton
Secretary: Caroline Lavis
Social Secretary: Becka Coombes
Social Media Officer, LGBT Officer and North Devon Representative: Edd Prosser
North Devon Representative: Sophie Rowcliffe
Plymouth Representative: Sally Trevaskis
Plymouth Representative: Samantha Loveridge
CPD Officer: Lucy Pillinger
CPD Officer for Michelmores: Tracy Perrett
DASLS Liaison: Sarah Summers
Committee Member: Emma Davies
Committee Member: Dominika Windak
Welcome to all new Committee Members and good luck for the year ahead!
CPD Event - Work/Life Balance: Finding Balance In Your Everyday
On 14 November 2018, the Branch held a 'Work/Life Balance: Finding Balance in Your Everyday' workshop, facilitated by Branch Committee Member Emma Davies. It was a great interactive workshop, enjoyed by 14 delegates, with colouring and cookies! We used a 24 hour/7 day grid to colourfully illustrate how we spend our time and identify pockets of time for the things we really want to do in life, that 'light us up'. We also looked at whether we over-commit, what would happen if we said 'no' more often, if we spent enough time on ourselves and whether we might feel guilty about doing that. We identified that, as a profession, a lot of us are guilty of over-committing, working through our lunch breaks, early starts, late finishes, etc and what impact that is having on us.
It was a fun workshop and the feedback definitely illustrated an appetite for further events of this nature, e.g. mindfulness in the workplace, wellness, overwhelm, mindset, juggling motherhood with a professional role and recognising stress. This is something that we will be discussing in the next Committee meeting.
Autumn Charity Ball
The Devon CILEx Branch held its Autumn Charity Ball on Saturday, 27 October 2018 at Woodbury Park Hotel in Exeter.
We successfully raised a total of £450.00 by way of a raffle and a game of heads or tails, to be split equally between our two chosen charities: the CILEx Benevolent Fund and Dogs Helping Kids.
There was live entertainment from The Sound, a three course meal and wine on the table. 53 people were in attendance, making it a really enjoyable night to remember.
Our VIP guests were CILEx President Philip Sherwood, Deputy Vice President Craig Tickner, immediate past CILEx President Millicent Grant and Devon & Somerset Law Society President Stephen Mahoney.
The Devon Branch would like to thank our sponsors, Conveyancing Data Services, for sponsoring the wine on the table and both Conveyancing Data Services and Groundsure for providing sponsorship towards payment of the band.
Study Planning and Exam Technique Workshop
On 9 October 2018, the Devon Branch held a Study Planning and Exam Technique Workshop provided by Barry Wilding-Webb (Training Manager for Tozers LLP), at Ashfords Solicitors in Exeter, which covered the following:
- Study timetable
- Food, sleep and nutrition
- What to study
- How to revise
- Short-term and long-term memory (fridge and freezer)
Everyone in attendance found this workshop hugely beneficial, and great feedback was received.
Work-Based Learning Practical Workshop
On 19 September 2018, the Devon Branch was proud to present the second of two Work-Based Learning Practical Workshops, delivered by Barry Wilding-Webb, Training Manager at Tozers. This workshop forms part of the Devon Branch's strategy of greater emphasis on students and providing training that is of benefit to them.
Probate CPD Event
On 18 September 2018, the Devon Branch held held a Probate Law CPD Event at the offices of Michelmores in Exeter. Caroline Alexander, Head of Probate at Michelmores, provided the training session. She provided a very detailed presentation, which covered the following:
- Understanding the Will
- Estate values and Inheritance Tax
- Probate process
- Complications with Estates
- The importance of Estates accounts
This also included particular tips of what to look out for and mistakes that are often made. Some of those who attended worked within Probate departments, and thus this was very useful. Caroline also provided example templates of how to present Estate accounts, which were very helpful.
CILEx and DASLS Rounders Match
The CILEx Devon Branch, Devon & Somerset Law Society and the Junior Lawyers Division playing a friendly game of rounders by the canal in Exeter.
Work-Based Learning Practical Workshop
On 16 July 2018, the Devon Branch was delighted to present the first of two Work-Based Learning Practical Workshops, delivered by Barry Wilding-Webb, Training Manager at Tozers. The first session was held at Michelmores Solicitors in Exeter. Barry provided a very helpful and comprehensive top tips list to assist with completing the outcomes set by CILEx when submitting WBL portfolios. All in attendance asked questions regarding their difficulties, which Barry was very helpful in assisting with, as well as showing us the CILEx website link for further guidance. Feedback from those that attended was great.
CPD Event - Do's & Don'ts for an Instructing Solicitor
On Wednesday, 27 June 2018, the Devon Branch held an event in conjunction with Barrister David Campbell of Magdalen Chambers, who shared top tips on how to get the best out of your Barrister. This included Do's and Don'ts as well as What and What Not to expect at Court, and how best to prepare your brief.
Beer and Curry Night
The Plymouth section of the Devon Branch held their inaugural social event at The Stannary Court, Ridgeway, Plympton on Thursday, 24 May. The "beer and curry" night was thoroughly enjoyed by those who attended and it was an opportunity to catch-up with colleagues and meet new faces who work in the area. After positive feedback, we are now planning our next social and hope that we can reach out to a wider audience of CILEx members in Plymouth.
On Saturday, 12 May 2018, CILEx Devon Branch Committee Members Lucy Pillinger of Kitsons LLP (Torquay) FCILEx and Edward Prosser of Toller Beattie (Barnstaple) marched in the 10th anniversary Exeter Pride event from Sidwell Street Gardens to Northernhay Gardens. Lucy and Ed were determined the attend to celebrate the ongoing work of CILEx and of equality and diversity within the legal profession.
CPD Event: Conveyancing - "Understanding the Ground" by Terra Firma
On 10 May 2018, the Devon CILEx Branch were pleased to present a conveyancing CPD event in conjunction with Terra Firma. The event was hosted by Michelmores and included a buffet lunch for attendees. Terra Firma, a nationally established leader in delivering due diligence solutions, really helped the attendees to better understand the physical, financial and legal risks associated with the many and varied risks the ground poses.
The Devon Branch held a social event on Thursday, 19 April at George's Meeting House, Exeter. There was a good turnout with everyone enjoying good food and conversation.
Training on Revision and Exam Technique
On 16 April the Devon CILEx Branch collaborated with Brightlink Learning to offer our members an online revision and exam technique tip share via video conferencing. The session was a great success and those who participated commented on how effective it was.
CPD Event: Conveyancing - "Understanding the Ground" by Terra Firma
The Devon CILEx Branch were pleased to present a conveyancing CPD event in conjunction with Terra Firma. The event was hosted by Toller Beattie and included a buffet lunch for attendees. Terra Firma, a nationally established leader in delivering due diligence solutions, really helped the attendees to better understand the physical, financial and legal risks associated with the many and varied risks the ground poses.