The Devon Branch held a further Christmas social in Barnstaple on 13 December 2019 at Lush Bar and Restaurant for our North Devon-based members.
It was a fantastic evening. The Branch contributed £10.00 towards the cost of each two or three course meal as our Christmas gift to our Branch Members, and the first drink was sponsored by Conveyancing Data Services.
SWLST Legal Quiz
The Devon Branch held the SWLST quiz on Wednesday, 20 November 2019 at Bar Miami in Plymouth. Tickets were £10.00 pp, which included a buffet-style Thai food selection during the course of the quiz. Further funds were raised for SWLST by way of a raffle and a game of heads or tails. 63 people were in attendance on the night, with teams being represented from GA Solicitors, Woollcombe Yonge, Family Law Company, Gard and Co, Wolferstans, as well as other local firms from Plymouth. We are delighted to announce that the total sum of £933.66 was raised for SWLST!
10th Anniversary Party
The Devon Branch held its 10th anniversary party on 18 October 2019 at the City Gate Hotel in Exeter.
It was a fantastic night with lots of great food and a DJ where we partied the night away. We even had our very own Birthday cake made by Committee member Dominika.
This event really helped celebrate the achievements of the Branch over the last 10 years and was a great opportunity for Branch Members to meet Committee Members and our VIP guests Craig Tickner (CILEx Vice President), Professor Chris Bones (Executive Chair of CILEx Group) and Louise Tyrrell (CILEx Membership Manager).
Annual Exeter Christmas Meal
The Devon Branch held their annual Exeter Christmas meal on 5 December 2019 at The Mill on the Exe in Exeter.
It was a great night, with festive music throughout the evening and a disco at the venue starting at 9:00 pm. 17 Branch Members were in attendance, with the Branch contributing £10.00 towards each two or three course meal as our Christmas gift to Branch Members.
Thank you to everyone who attended for making it a fantastic night!
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.