The Scottish Young Lawyer's Association (SYLA) is encouraging law students to take advantage of its free membership. Here, Amanjit Uppal and Patricia Taylor from the SYLA's committee explain why the association exists and what it offers to university students studying Scots law.

The SYLA is a membership organisation for junior lawyers, run by junior lawyers. It boasts over 4,000 members, from students to lawyers up to 10 years qualified. Membership of the SYLA is therefore open to those at the beginning of their legal journey, including LLB and Diploma students. The SYLA is not-for-profit, and free of charge to join.

The SYLA’s objectives are to represent, educate and entertain. In this blog, we explore how the SYLA meets these objectives for its student-members, and why you should sign up today! 

The SYLA Committee is comprised of 11 junior lawyers, each of whom have lived through the challenges of law school, and know how much can be gained from joining the SYLA at student-level. We know that the future can seem daunting and at times, inaccessible. There are a lot of big choices to be made, which only adds to the existing pressures of deadlines and classwork. The SYLA aims to support students and offer clarity and calmness during what can be an overwhelming time.

Joining the SYLA gives students the opportunity to attend numerous events throughout the year that focus on different practice areas of law. Our in-person events also afford students the opportunity to network with legal professionals; allowing you to learn about the legal profession from those who are already operating within it!

As we know, being a student or a practising solicitor are two very different things. The SYLA helps to bridge the gap between these two stages. Our events help students, who may be unsure about life post-graduation, to make more informed decisions about their future in law. 

Expanding your network at an early stage in your legal journey is important. Alongside learning more about the legal profession, the SYLA provides students with the opportunity to meet other law students - allowing them to share experiences and learn from each other. The Scottish legal sector is small, and the SYLA seeks to contribute to the sense of community which exists within our tightknit jurisdiction.  

The SYLA also represents students in the legal sector. We appreciate the profile of our profession, which is rich in diversity and experience. Through our representation work, we seek to assist in creating a profession that is reflective of the diverse society in which we live, and a place where our members can bring their ‘whole selves’ to work. We strive for not just equality, but for equity, and are proud to contribute to these important conversations on behalf of our members.

The SYLA also strives to entertain! We know how hard students work and are mindful of personal wellbeing. To entertain our members, the SYLA runs a variety of social events throughout the year including launch parties, sporting events, Christmas socials, and our annual Spring Ball.

Although the SYLA is an independent, non-affiliated organisation, we are grateful to work closely with the Law Society of Scotland and other legal stakeholders. As above, the Scottish legal fraternity is small. The SYLA encourages organisations to work together, for the benefit of our current legal community and our emerging practitioners. Our law students of today are our lawyers of tomorrow and as such are the future of our profession. We must support them as best we can.

Join the SYLA today!

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