New JLD chair puts student debt top of agenda

The new head of the Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) has vowed to push the issues of student debt and access to the profession to the top of the agenda during her two-year reign.

The JLD, which is a division of the Law Society, voted in new chairwoman Heidi Sandy after former head Kat Gibson stepped down at the end of her term.

And Sandy, who used to be vice-chair at the JLD, has said she will be using her time as chairwoman to lobby against student debt and organise presentations and workshops in a bid to improve access to the profession.

She said: “Law students in particular take on huge amounts of debt to get into the profession and that often rules out those from lower income families. I want to help those who might find it harder to get into law through various skills centres and student forums.”

Sandy also claimed she wanted to make the JLD’s voice stronger within the Law Society so that it can begin to help shape policy.

Launched in January 2008 for junior lawyers across England and Wales, the JLD represents all student members of the Law Society enrolled through the Solicitors Regulation Authority, trainees, and solicitors with up to five years’ PQE.