History of Leeds Law Society
One of the oldest local law societies in the UK
The Society was incorporated in 1870 and at that time still had only 33 members. From 1876 to 1920 the Society rented business premises in Albion Place. When the lease of those premises expired the then committee took the bold decision to purchase the adjoining building at 1 Albion Place, for the princely sum of £8,750! That building has remained home to the Leeds Law Society ever since.
In January 1905, a dinner was held at Powolny’s Rooms in Great George Street to celebrate the Society’s centenary. The then Lord Chief Justice (Lord Alverstone) attended and spoke, commenting upon the speed with which he had travelled from London to Leeds at 55 miles per hour by Great Northern Rail!
The centenary of the incorporation of the Society was celebrated in 1970 with a full page spread in the Yorkshire Post, a Centenary Dinner at the Civic Hall and a reception at Temple Newsam House – noted in the Society’s records as being the first occasion when ladies were invited to one of the Society’s functions! Seven years later the Society elected its first lady President, Shirley Schofield.
The Presidential badge of office, presented to the Society on its incorporation in 1870, bears the names of all of the Presidents who have held office since that time. Many of the names on the badge are synonymous with the names of the well-known law firms in Leeds.
When the Society celebrated its Bicentenary in 2005, its membership was higher than ever, an indication of the growth of the legal community in Leeds since 1805.