A Year in Office: Catherine Woodward Reflects on Her Time as President of Leeds Law Society

Thursday 26th May 2022

As her time as President of Leeds Law Society comes to an end, Catherine Woodward reflects on her time in office and her plans for the future.

A year as President

My year as President of Leeds Law Society has been an incredible experience; thought-provoking, challenging, and ultimately very fulfilling.

When I was voted into the post in May 2021, we were still dealing with ongoing and everchanging Covid restrictions. Leeds Law Society, along with many other businesses across the world, had moved to be fully remote in March 2020. This caused many of us to reflect on working practices and whether there was a better way.

As a result of these thoughts, in the early part of 2022, we made the decision to move to a virtual office. Being part of such fundamental business decisions was one of the most interesting parts of my time as president, as usually I am just advising others on these things and they make the ultimate decisions – it was good to be an essential part of the commercial decision making for Leeds Law Society.

Successes and triumphs

Over the course of my presidency, I have heard from many of our members and hosted a number of innovative events, from panels discussing the experiences of parents working into the law to roundtables discussing social mobility.

One of our flagship events was the successful diversity and inclusion conference run in September 2021 jointly with The Law Society of England and Wales. This included speakers such as Lady Hale, Master McCloud and Lord Shinkwin. Leeds Law Society has to lead the way on inclusion initiatives and it has been great to be part of this.

Inclusion initiatives remain close to my heart and I will continue that work here at Gordons, having been appointed as Head of Wellness and Inclusion at the beginning of this year.

In addition to our ongoing inclusion work, LLS has also built close relationships with the Courts, the judiciary and the bar – as a litigator, being involved in the swearing-in of judges and the opening of the legal year has been fantastic and incredibly rewarding.

My involvement with the Business and Property Courts Forum, which offers insightful events aimed at users of the Business and Property Courts both in Leeds and nationally, has helped LLS to promote Leeds as a centre of excellence and a key centre for civil justice in England, reflective of the firms and business in our region.

The future of Leeds Law Society

It’s been great to see and direct all the work that Leeds Law Society has been involved in over the last year, and to meet our members, sponsors and supporters. As a Society, we have shown that we can support our members through tumultuous circumstances and I am glad to have been a part of LLS’s rich history.

If you would like to hear more about Catherine Woodward and her work as Head of Wellness and Inclusion, please contact her using the details below.