We aim to provide social and professional support to our members as well as a range of services in the local area.
What is a branch?
Joining an active local branch of CILEx offers numerous ways of finding additional support and making contacts that can be of benefit to you for the rest of your career.
Local branches are groups of geographically local members who, with the support of the membership department at CILEx headquarters in Kempston, aim to provide support to its members and to represent and raise the profile of CILEx in the local area. They are managed by a committee of volunteers comprising both Fellows and other members of CILEx.
The benefits of being a member of a local branch
Joining a local branch is an excellent way of developing a closer relationship with CILEx itself. Local branches give the benefit of the direct involvement of a CILEx Council member, as well as providing the focus for opportunities to meet and chat with the president, chief executive and other senior staff and officers of CILEx.
Branches also provide the means to meet other members of CILEx studying and working in the area. Many branches have formal arrangements, such as 'study buddy' or study group schemes. Study buddy schemes link students with a mentor who can offer advice and support of a pastoral nature, while study groups involve regular meetings of students of particular subjects to discuss course work and help tackle problem areas.
Other initiatives include work shadowing schemes. Here, students are given the opportunity to spend time in the office of a working legal executive to see what the job really involves in the 'real world'.
Most branches arrange revision days, as well as seminars on exam techniques, CV writing and interview skills to help with job hunting. And as for jobs, being an active member of a branch, which will necessarily include many working members, provides an inside track to news of local vacancies and opportunities.
A key feature of branch activities is organising social functions, arranging monthly lunch clubs and informal evening meals, through more energetic pursuits such as ten-pin bowling, skittles to formal black-tie dinners.
All of these provide an opportunity to get to know local CILEx members as well as other lawyers and professionals.
We would like to hear from anyone who would like to join the branch or become involved with the committee, so please feel free to contact either John McCreanney or Danielle Blaylock. Both can be contacted on 0151 281 9040.