Collegiality vital for junior employment lawyers

ADLS’ Employment Law Committee Convenor, Catherine Stewart, along with committee member, Philip Skelton QC, recently attended and spoke at a junior employment lawyers’ collegiality event.

The brainchild of two junior employment lawyers, the purpose of this event was to provide a forum for junior employment lawyers to meet and engage. Recognising the importance of building professional relationships in this area of law, the ADLS Employment Law Committee was quick to support this event.

In speaking to the gathering, Catherine Stewart and Philip Skelton QC emphasised the benefits of having positive, collegial relationships with others in the legal profession. While clients may be locked in a battle, this does not mean that lawyers need to be aggressive among themselves. Instead, effective advocacy is often better achieved through a firm, but collegial approach.

Each gave examples of circumstances where a respectful approach had worked in their client’s favour. They also noted that further knowledge and growth can be gained from conferring with colleagues on legal concepts and ideas. Such discussions will be especially beneficial in light of anticipated new legislation in this area. Receiving different views on how upcoming changes might impact clients and work in practice can assist enormously with pending cases.

The situations with which employment lawyers deal are invariably very “human”, as people’s jobs are often strongly linked with their identity.

It is therefore extremely helpful to have a support network in the work environment, and having such a network at the same level of experience and from the start of one’s career is invaluable.

It is anticipated that further events providing opportunities for junior employment lawyers to meet will be held throughout 2019. Watch this space.