Financial & Legal News

Pamela Walsh becomes Oldham Law Association President

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Pamela Walsh has been made President of the Oldham Law Association (OLA) and in her first few weeks she has already made some changes to benefit young legal professionals in the area.

What is the Oldham Law Association (OLA)?

For over 100 years, Oldham Law Association has represented solicitors working or living in Oldham and surrounding area. The aim of the group is to highlight anything which may be of interest and of use to legal professionals including; training, social activities, networking and development.  The Association meet monthly and also lobbies Government and other stakeholders on issues that affect the legal profession.

Becoming President was a very proud day in her 24 year career and during her year in office she has set herself some challenges which she is looking forward to.

Pamela works as a care solicitor at Oldham law firm, Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers.  She is known in the firm as a friendly face, a caring team member and someone to turn to when you need a helping hand and a good chat over a cup of tea, so her role as OLA President is perfect for her.

Here we catch up with Pamela Walsh on what the future holds for local law firms, her challenges as President and what it all means to her:

What do you hope to achieve in your year as OLA president?

That is actually quite a tricky question as you are only president for a year and then you hand the baton onto the next person. We all have a collective responsibility to keep the OLA relevant and to support the local community and our members.  Some of our plans will reach forward as we build links and ideas develop. This will be a group not a personal achievement and I am just proud to be able to play my part.

Oldham Law Association Members

One of the things that we have been discussing for some time has actually come to fruition which we are all extremely delighted with.  At an extra-ordinary general meeting in April this year we passed a unanimous vote to change the definition of those legal professionals who qualify to become members, or associate members of the OLA and amended our constitution accordingly.

A student or member of CILEX, a legal apprentice a paralegal or legal assistant and a trainee Licenced Conveyancer are all now eligible to join and I certainly hope they will want to. We all recognised the changing pathways to a legal career and want to be as inclusive as possible in our membership going forward. We are now starting a drive for new members and to hopefully welcome back some previous members.

I hope we may also yet see members who are employed by the Local Authority, or in house lawyers from the private sector, as well as those working in private practice, as everyone has something unique to add. We are just starting to work on this and cannot do it all at once but I’m relishing the challenge.

What does being president of the OLA mean to you?

It is actually very important indeed. This is why I wanted to be President of the Rochdale Law Association and now at Oldham. It is the concept of “Association” and by extension ‘Community’ that appeals to me. The added value that comes from being a part of an Association and the ability to offer relevant benefits such as training and networking, introducing junior members of the ‘Member Firms’ to those more experienced who may help or mentor them, to offer training and CPD and the intangible benefits of giving back and volunteering or supporting worthwhile causes and charities.  I want to play my part in ensuring the OLA grows.

Are you looking forward to the challenges?

The challenges are the bits I am looking forward to. I am really keen to reinvigorate the Oldham Law Association after COVID and reach out to all the Legal Professionals. We need to keep it relevant and ensure it survives to help a future generation of young professionals.

How relevant is the Oldham Law Association in 2023?

I truly believe it is as relevant now as the day it started. I just hope enough people agree with me for it to still be here in 2025, or even 2055. People are busy, legal training and CPD can be done online and the pandemic brought a lot of changes to the way we work, but the core values remain the same.

I want the 18 year old students we may support this year, to be able to answer these types of questions when they are my age being asked how relevant the OLA is!

Does the OLA support Charities?

The Oldham Law Association Charity of the Year is Mahdlo and many of our members and membered law firms have connections with the charity which supports children in Oldham.

Pearson Solicitors is a patron for Mahdlo and I have talked to staff and some of the children who go and have seen for myself just how important their work is.

The care work I do highlights the challenges some local families are facing and children are at the heart of those families. I wanted to do whatever was possible to help in any small way that I could as a person or as a firm and this year with the OLA agreeing that Mahdlo would be our charity of the year.

What events do the Oldham Law Association host?

The OLA have a number of events planned and more are still in the planning stages. We will also be encouraging our Member Firms to see what else we can do, with the aim to raise as much as we can by the end of the year.

We shall be setting this out as we go along on our website and LinkedIn pages and encouraging members to get involved. We will also support existing Mahdlo events where we can.

For more information on the OLA visit the Oldham Law Association website or contact Pamela Walsh.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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