ELSA QMUL is the Local Group of ELSA for students at Queen Mary University of London. It is one of the largest operative ELSA groups in the United Kingdom as well as being the oldest established London group. It was voted in as a full member of ELSA UK at the National Council Meeting in the spring of 2014. The first UK based President of ELSA International, Anastasia Kalinina, was the President of ELSA Queen Mary 2015-2016. The group is affiliated with the Queen Mary Students’ Union (QMSU).
- President – Viktoria Mörk-Mörkenstein (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Secretary General – Michal Gruchalski (email@example.com)
- Treasurer – Julie Kisiel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Vice President for Marketing – Bojidara Simeonova (email@example.com)
- Vice President for Seminars & Conferences – Evangelia Koratzinou (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Deputy Vice President for Academic Activities – Rasim Parlak (email@example.com)
- Vice President for Student Trainee Exchange Programmes (STEP) – Blanche Freudenreich (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Vice President for Partnerships – Dimitar Bouhlarski (email@example.com)
In the term of 2019/20 ELSA QMUL has a great dedication towards the further facilitation of effective knowledge management. We have been working on a new set of department handbooks which would assist Board members in the execution of their tasks, as well as further define their role in the eyes of our members. Furthermore, there has also been significant impact on the introduction of project and internal management tools, and we are very proud to be one of the first Local Groups to organise certified ELSA Training in the UK during the term.
As of this year, ELSA Queen Mary has a new Vice-President Partnership position, which will aim to provide support to all key areas and external expansion of the society. The department will aim to develop an event-tailored Sponsorship program and work towards the advancement of the alumni ELSA network – LINKS and the uniform external contacts database. The department will also strive to maintain the ELSA QMUL brand and continue upholding its status as such by
strengthening its relationships with local law firms, chambers and opportunity-providers. Some of these institutions are the British Council, The Coca-Cola Foundation and Bright Network.
In 2019 our first initiative was the creation of merchandise not only for our members (stickers, tote bags) but also for the committee (t-shirts) in order to attract new members, invoke a sense of brand loyalty and increase the cohesion and team spirit within the board. Moving on, one of our central aims this year is to further boost our social media presence through uploading more often and high-quality content (better designs, animation tapping into the new software introduced to
us in the Constanta ICM) that harmonizes with our target group’s profile as well as through continuous engagement with our members and other ELSA groups.
This year at ELSA QMUL, the creation of the role of Editor-In-Chief has facilitated the successful production and implementation of a weekly newsletter. This weekly newsletter has allowed our members to keep up to date with exciting news from ELSA QMUL and be informed of all our upcoming events and opportunities within the different departments. Despite it being a challenge at first we are proud to say that the newsletter is now in full swing, and that this will be an integral department for all future ELSA QMUL boards.
In 2019 ELSA QMUL created a new role in order to strengthen the bond between its members and the board. The social department aims to organise social events throughout the year which would promote the ELSA spirit and expand the ELSA family. So far, we have had two successful events. The welcome party attracted over 150 Queen Mary students at 640 East, an underground and charming bar. Recently we also have had another social event in collaboration with other law
societies strengthening ELSA’s presence at Queen Mary. The social department has managed to fill our nights with drinks, fun and music.
Seminars & Conferences (S&C)
ELSA Queen Mary invites Lady Hale of Richmond
The European Law Students’ Association invited the President of the Supreme Court of England & Wales to Queen Mary University of London. Baroness Hale is the Patroness of ELSA UK and she was more than excited to come and talk to our ELSA Members and fellow QM students about her experiences as a highly successful woman in the legal world and on the bench.
ELSA Training Sessions
ELSA QMUL seeks to help its members develop skills and competencies and thus organises Certified Training sessions with Trainer and Barrister Ms. Dixsha Patel. The interactive Training sessions focus on Communication, Negotiation, Decision making, Conflict and Crisis Management and Resolution, and advocacy. Devoted participants will receive a certificate from ELSA International in a special ceremony, proving the development of their transferable skills.
Corporate Social Responsibilities Series
In 2019/20 we are hosting a series of events on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). For each event, we are inviting a law firm to come speak to our members about their CSR programmes and initiatives in different business ventures. Our aim with these events is to expose our members to corporate firms without losing sight ELSA’s values. To date, we have collaborated with three law firms: Baker McKenzie, Reed Smith, and Slaughter and May.
Alongside the CSR series of events, we are also organising seminars and panel discussions that focus on current events and aim to boost ELSA members’ commercial awareness. Examples of topics include the following: Hong Kong protests, and Amazon rain forest fires.
Study Visits and Institutional Visits
This year, ELSA QMUL will also be participating in Study Visits. It will be a great opportunity for ELSA QMUL to build connections across the network and will also give our members the chance to experience ELSA in another dimension.
Institutional Visits on the other hand are more accessible to a wider group of individuals but offer very similar benefits to Study Visits. By integrating Institutional Visits in our S&C activities, we will introduce ELSA members to a different aspect of S&C. Our goal for this year is to organise at least one Institutional Visit.
Moot Court Competitions (MCC)
This year, MCC sent a team to ELSA UK’s flagship project, COMMOOT. They competed in the local rounds in Bristol and the online Final preliminary rounds.
We also organised our first-ever Climate Moot which addressed the rising challenge of climate change and how it overlaps with human rights. Environmental law might have been invisible on the legal radar a few years ago. However, today, it is very much in the limelight as a growing, lucrative and incredibly interesting area of law. We partnered with One Tree Planted, a charity with plants one tree for each dollar donated, to help restore the Australian wildlife.
Student Trainee Exchange Programme (STEP)
This year STEP QMUL is collaborating with the Law and Business Society to deliver quality application workshops and improve awareness of ELSA’s traineeship programme. Furthermore, STEP is proud to announce it has recently renewed its partnership with the Legal AdviceCentre (University House) and has extended the duration of its traineeships from this provider from four to eight weeks.
Job Hunting Strategy
During this term STEP will continue to focus on maintaining partnerships with existing traineeship providers and securing new partnerships. A new directorial position of Research and Internship Networking (RAIN) has been created to increase our capacity to reach out to new traineeship providers in London. A Job-Hunting manual will be created to quickly transition next year’s directors of RAIN into their roles. A database of approached providers will be created where notes
will be kept regarding the capacity and willingness of organisations to establish partnerships with STEP in order to facilitate knowledge retention.
Student Application Strategy
A new directorial position of Recruitment has been created to vet applicants. Considering the significant increase in ELSA QMUL membership this year this should increase STEP’s capacity for applicant vetting.
A new directorial position of Reception has been created to effectively manage trainee needs and queries. This will also facilitate the consolidation reception of all London based trainees. STEP QMUL aims to facilitate the connection of London trainees to one another through the establishment of a Whatsapp and or Facebook group containing all London based trainees. This will increase the flow of information to trainees and allow them to become more easily involved in ELSA events and socials and increase their capacity to network with other ELSA members.