Kate Maybury with The Mayor of Harrogate Borough in 2017
My aim at the beginning of my year as President was to build upon the positive aspects of the Harrogate and District Law Society and steer its path towards being a colourful and energetic organisation – the kind of organisation that people were willing and proud to be part of. Twelve months is a short period of time when trying to effect change and I hope that I brought about at least a small shift towards achieving that goal.
When I spoke at the AGM, I mentioned the functions of the Law Society which have endured since it began, those being its social, educational and representative roles. Needless to say, I focused on each of these strands during my time in office in an attempt to bolster the work that had already taken place and to advance it.
Members may have noted the unconventional choice of venues for social occasions which were chosen in a bid to liven up the events and encourage greater participation. The Everyman Cinema was the venue for the President’s Drinks, an event which was a great success and allowed us to catch up with friends and colleagues and the President’s Dinner was held at the West Park Hotel – a fabulous evening for all who attended.
I’ve always believed that communication is key and with a view to encouraging engagement and greater participation from members we produced newsletters which were emailed out and posted on the website. These were intended to demonstrate, in an easily accessible format, what the Law Society did, what the committee got up to throughout the year and how this benefitted our members. Overall I hoped to reveal in a tangible way, the work that the Harrogate and District Law Society was doing for its legal community.
The training and educational function of the society has changed in recent years but I believe that this function still has an important role. With the help of committee members, we arranged four training sessions over the year on blogging, coaching and more recently on GDPR, a topic which was so successful it had to be repeated!
Finally, in relation to the representative function of the Law Society, the organisation offered (and still offers) assistance in responding to consultations on behalf of members. Details of active consultations were easily accessible on the website and as always, the Law Society was willing and able to support its members by promoting the legal profession in the area.
All said, it was a tremendous honour to be the Harrogate and Law Society President in its 99th year of its existence. I feel I made good progress in my role and took a lot from the position, meeting new people, enjoying new experiences and learning new things. There’s no doubt the experience has contributed to my understanding of legal matters and my development as a law professional overall.
I’m delighted to have handed these important reins over to Andrew Gray who takes on the role of President in its centenary year – he’s innately energetic, full of ideas and has already got some great plans for the year ahead, I wish him the very best of luck.