Running a law society

  • Last updated 22-Jul-2016 12:43:04
  • Ben Chapman, Law Society President, Hull University Law Society

Student law societies vary drastically in what they offer. Some may simply provide a social adjunct to studies; others may offer a variety of provisions to complement them. Either way, these golden rules will help ensure its success:

Make membership worthwhile…

To have a society in the first place, you need members. Your target audience consists of students. Students are skint. Show them how important membership is for both them and their careers. Even socials are a good opportunity to practice networking…

Treat the role professionally…

You may have marketed the importance of your society for careers, but you also need to appreciate how your activities and decisions can have career-changing effects. Furthermore, your activities may not be cheap. As such, the society should be treated as a service. You hold a legal responsibility for this money and a professional duty to those who have parted with it.

Set the ground rules from the start…

What might seem obvious to you may not be so obvious to other members of the Committee. Everyone has a different way of dealing with matters and each will have different levels of professionalism, and so standardised rules and expectations should be explicitly clear from the beginning. That way, there are no excuses for acting out of line, and there is footing for disciplinary procedures should something arise. And with this in mind…

Be prepared to live a double life…

You will have friends both within the Committee and in the general membership. These friends are more than likely going to be law students. Law students are trained to argue. It’s easy to imagine a situation where you find yourself disagreeing with a friend, and the situation is going to be very uncomfortable indeed. You need to ensure mutual understanding of your position and that this issue can be separated from friendship. This will come with respect, and respect comes from providing a professional service. Be seen as reasonable when dealing with such issues and…

Don't get above yourself…

You are simply providing a service. Do not look down on people for silly questions, and be friendly. Members are entitled to your time. This is what you signed up for.

More like this

  • Law society membershipBy Lauren Bowes, Editor, AllAboutLaw.co.uk

    You've made it to university and taken the leap to join a law society – probably after reading our explaining the benefits and why you should. But there's more to being in a

  • Why join a law society?By Sofia Gymer, Editor, AllAboutLaw.co.uk

    Let’s be honest, even if your grades are off the chain, nobody wants to work with someone who doesn’t have any people skills!  You need to prove to your future employers that you are

  • Law society mootingBy Billy Sexton, Editor, AllAboutLaw.co.uk

    Most university law societies offer students the opportunity to take part in a moot. These are usually run with a bit of help from the law school and lecturers often play the

  • 10 top tips on starting a law societyImogen Canovan, President of the University of Kent Law Society

    Starting or running a law society is no easy task. Here, Imogen Canavan, President of Kent Student Law Society, divulges her top tips on how to run a successful law society.