LawSoc Semester One 2022 Round-Up
The University of Leeds Law Society (LawSoc) is a Leeds University Union (LUU) student society that provides aspiring lawyers with a variety of opportunities for an unforgettable university experience
From panels and presentations to sports and socials, the society’s goal is to ensure that all students, whether studying a law or non-law degree, are equipped with the skills necessary to pursue a career in the legal industry and beyond.
We spoke to Ben Anderton and Kat Lytle, the LawSoc Co-Presidents, to find out more about the student society, what activities and events they have hosted in semester one and their plans for next semester.
Who is on the committee this year?
The Law Society committee consists of 16 committee members:
Ben Anderton, Co-President
Kat Lytle, Co-President
Eric Seniuk, Careers Secretary
Sonia Jones, Bar Careers Secretary
Joshua Parsons, Mooting Secretary
Mami Seck, Negotiating Secretary
Yujie Feng, Debating Secretary
Ella Macmillan, Community Engagement Secretary
Gabrielle Tsang, Equality and Diversity Secretary
Iman Taqi, Events Secretary
Chloe Payne, Social Secretary
Hâf Edwards, Sports Secretary
Marcus Hill, Media and Publicity Secretary
Kimia Afshar Pour, Social Excursions Secretary
Lauren Stoddart, First Year Representative
Kelvin Akhigbe, First Year Representative
What have you been up to during semester one?
In short, lots! We have hosted over 50 exclusive events for our members, and that is before you consider other opportunities such as our competitions, sports, and sponsor events.
We packed our social calendar from the very beginning. In Welcome Week, we ran an equality and diversity (E&D) quiz for well over 150 incoming first years, as well as a games social at a club with almost 200 first years in attendance. This was quickly followed by a refreshers social for our second and third-year members - we could not have them missing out on the fun! We have since hosted socials to announce our First Year Representatives and for Halloween. To wrap up the term, we have our Christmas Social in the final week.
LawSoc members attending a social
We hosted careers events with several of our sponsors. On average, we hosted two exclusive events with our sponsors per week, consisting of in person networking events and online webinars. Examples of some of the events include a cocktail masterclass with Herbert Smith Freehills and a speed interviewing workshop with DLA Piper!
Our Annual Careers Dinner that we hosted on 2nd December saw 150 attendees, including 30 representatives from 15 of the top graduate employers in the legal industry. It is one of our pinnacle events, so it is no surprise that tickets were in high demand, selling out within 50 seconds!
Attendees in conversation at the Annual Careers Dinner
Our academic competitions are a continued success. Within the first few weeks, we hosted an academic showcase, introducing members to mooting, negotiating, and debating. We have since held a series of workshops for each discipline and competitions are now underway! We have participated in several intervarsity competitions, with our mooters winning against Huddersfield and our negotiators beating York.
Our sports teams have seen remarkable success and are excited to be receiving new kits in the new year! For the first time, the society has two netball teams, providing more opportunities for our members to get involved in sports. Our football team has also seen remarkable success, with wins against much larger footballing societies.
Among our greatest achievements of the term was Law's Got Talent, the first time running the event since 2019! Iman Taqi, the Events Secretary, defied the odds to pull off a fabulous night with many incredible acts. The event also featured a fantastic performance by School of Law Support Officers James Johnston and Max Broady. The event saw a total of £360 raised for St George's Crypt, a Leeds-based charity providing care to the homeless, vulnerable and those suffering with addiction.
James Johnston and Max Broady perform at Law’s Got Talent
In addition to supporting St George’s Crypt, Community Engagement Secretary Ella Macmillan organised a wine and cheese night in aid of Leeds Mencap, a charity supporting children with learning disabilities. The night was a tremendous success, raising over £130.
Beyond the E&D quiz in Welcome Week, we have supported several E&D initiatives. E&D Secretary Gabrielle Tsang held a ‘Bridge the Gap’ event in October, which saw a panel of Leeds alumni provide guidance to international students on settling into life at Leeds. We also held a Black History Month panel with Eversheds Sutherland.
As if that was not enough, we are taking 45 members to Amsterdam for three days following the end of term.
It is safe to say that we have been busy!
Do you have any events or activities planned for semester two?
Semester two will be just as busy as semester one. We will have another social upon our return to classes, allowing our members to catch up after the stress of exams. Further, another one of our pinnacle events, the Law Ball, will not be one to miss! The annual LawSoc Otley Run is also not one to miss. We have several collaborations lined up, including an International Women’s Day brunch with Women Breaking Barriers and a debating event with Lawyers without Borders. We plan to celebrate Pride by hosting a Pride Panel with Eversheds Sutherland and a Pride Social. We are also excited to continue to host a wide range of events with our sponsors. Some extremely exciting events that have never been hosted by LawSoc before are in the works, so keep an eye out on our socials to stay updated!
What made you want to join LawSoc?
Ben: I took a year out before starting university, so came wanting to make the most of all the opportunities available. LawSoc is the perfect society to join to make amazing friends and become involved in so many exciting opportunities. After benefitting from everything available within the society in my first year, applying to be on the committee to provide the opportunities to others felt like the natural step to take!
Kat: When I moved to Leeds from Canada to pursue my LLB, it was important for me to get involved with the student community. Having been involved in societies when completing my first degree, I knew that joining LawSoc would offer the opportunity to meet other students and have an impact on professional development. Serving as First Year Rep last year was one of the most impactful experiences in my first year at Leeds. Not only did I have the opportunity to meet so many amazing people, but it was also very gratifying to be able to have an impact on the success of the society. Since I had such an amazing experience as First Year Rep, I was so excited to be able to take on more responsibility within the society as Co-President this year and the first semester has not disappointed.
Kat and Ben announcing the LawSoc first-year representatives
How have you found your role as Co-Presidents so far?
Ben: I have loved it! The role is incredibly demanding and does take a significant amount of time, but with that comes immense reward. I cover the role of the Treasurer whilst sharing the Presidential roles with Kat, but to make things easier we make a great team! The role is so much fun because it demands an understanding of everything we offer to our members – whether that be assisting Eric with the Careers Dinner, Hâf with football kits or Chloe with a social. Maintaining relationships with our sponsoring law firms is an enjoyable part of the role, but everything we do is for our members. Our end goal is to provide fantastic opportunities to our members, and I would hope that so far it has been a great success!
Kat: While the role of Co-President requires a considerable amount of hard work and dedication, managing both the role of General Secretary and Co-President, it is also extremely rewarding, and I have loved working alongside Ben and the rest of the committee. Being Co-President has allowed me to develop so many skills that will help me in my future. It is also extremely exciting to have the opportunity to work with representatives from some of the UK’s biggest law firms. In addition to liaising with sponsors, it is the Co-President's job to oversee everything the other committee members are doing, which allows us to be involved in the wide range of opportunities we provide and build a relationship with each committee members. One of my favourite parts of the role is getting to meet so many of our amazing members and I look forward to meeting many more next semester!
How can current students get involved in LawSoc? What can students expect as a member of society?
With so many opportunities being offered by the society, there is truly something for everyone. Our careers opportunities are held both virtually and in person and are a wonderful place to start. The three academic competitions – mooting, negotiating, and debating – offer a fantastic opportunity to jump into the society and develop new skills, whilst our E&D events and community engagement projects give our members the opportunity to make a difference within the society and the wider Leeds community. We also know how to have fun! Our netball and football teams have regular fixtures and training sessions. We have dedicated Facebook groups for both – the links can be found here. We have two excursions each year, so if you fancy travelling with your friends, keep an eye out for another coming at the end of the year! Finally, our socials are open to everyone and are a wonderful place to meet new friends. We do also have non-alcoholic socials and will be hosting a coffee morning next semester. It is never too late to join LawSoc and we encourage both new and existing members to get involved in all we have to offer next semester!