Appraisal Skills Training
On 24 July 2019, the Branch held an Appraisal Training Session at the Family Law Company in Exeter. The CPD event was a great success. It was an informative group discussion with guidance from Barry, covering the following:
- How to take a coaching approach to appraisals, coach and be coached
- The need to set clear goals and agree on the route to achieving them
- How to establish a lasting coaching habit that will save you and your team time
- How to empower and engage both yourself and others
- The benefit of reflection and acknowledging your own good work
- How to genuinely recognise and acknowledge good work
Everyone in the group was able to engage in the training and provide their own views, which was really positive.
Thank you to Barry Wilding-Webb, Training Manager at Tozers Solicitors. Barry is a regular training provider of the Devon Branch, who provides informative and helpful training which always results in a strong turnout by our members and non-members.
Chocolate Tasting Social
On 26 June 2019, the Devon Branch held a chocolate tasting social event (a chocolate lock-in), hosted by Hotel Chocolat in Princesshay, Exeter.
Attendees were treated to a glass of prosecco or soft drink on arrival and got the opportunity to sample five different chocolates from Hotel Chocolat's 'Best of the Best' collection. During the 45 minute event, attendees were able to mingle and network with each other, see how the chocolates are made and how they taste straight from the bean, as well as find out about the history of the company and its values and ethics during the question and answer session.
Thereafter, the £10 ticket price was redeemable at the event in products, so everyone had a chance to look around the store and do some chocolate shopping!
It was a brilliant night with everyone not only having the chance to network and enjoy the chocolates available to test, but also to come away with lots of fantastic chocolate purchases.
We have already had requests for a repeat!
Exeter Legal Walk
The Devon CILEx Branch took part in the annual 10 km sponsored Exeter Legal Walk on Thursday, 20 June 2019. We walked around Exeter to help promote awareness of the South West Legal Support Trust, and to raise money for local advice services. The walk started and ended at the University of Exeter, where refreshments were ready and waiting!
Our Branch Chair, Gemma Rowe, was one of the lead walkers, alongside Tony Steiner from Devon and Somerset Law Society. The walk took just under two hours to complete.
There were approximately 50-60 walkers in total, attending from local law firms, Citizen Advice centres and barristers' chambers. It was a really fun walk, and also a great opportunity to network. Our Branch has to date successfully raised £135.00.
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.