During the 1990’s, I was lucky enough to be booked by The Law Society to be the Toastmaster at some legal dinners at the Law Society’s Hall in Chancery Lane, London.
Then, in 1998, I was approached by them and asked if I would like to officiate at the Law Society’s “Admission Ceremony”. The very first Admission ceremony that I officiated at as Toastmaster was on 30th April 1998, and this month, I am very proud to celebrate 15 consecutive years at this event.
When someone qualifies as a Solicitor, they automatically get admitted to the Law Society. They hold these Admission Ceremonies on a regular basis to mark this occasion. It’s very much like a University Graduation but on a much smaller scale. It is held in the afternoon and there are normally 40-60 people to be admitted each time. The Law Society elects a new President each year and he or she host each ceremony, with the help of the Vice President or a Past President when necessary. Once a year, “The Master of The Rolls” attends the Ceremony ( always clothed in his Wig and colourful Regalia), which is always a wonderful event.
As well as the general organisation of the event, my role is to announce the name of every new Solicitor being admitted. Over the years, I have seen many changes. When I first started in 1998, it was a male dominated profession and there were hardly any women at the ceremonies. These days, well over 50% of all new Solicitors are women.
Because they admit people from other jurisdictions from all around the world, I have to pronounce some names which can be a really difficult challenge.
Over the years, The Law Society have kindly allowed me to make several changes to the format of the ceremony which have now been successfully implemented.
I have now worked with 15 Law Society President’s, have attended over 600 of these ceremonies and called out the names of more than 25,000 new Solicitors.
I am extremely proud with my long association with this fantastic event and I obviously hope to be involved for many more years.