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Dry January: Put down the pint and pick up the paintball gun, junior lawyers told

JLD issues fresh alcohol guidance as it bans booze from events

The Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) has issued fresh guidance on creating a healthy alcohol culture in the legal profession, featuring a range of booze-free networking alternatives including paintballing, hat making and mini-golf.

The JLD stresses that its intention is not to stop lawyers from drinking alcohol altogether, but rather promote a healthier, more “inclusive approach” to work-related activities.

While accepting that changing drinking habits and the responsibility for not getting drunk is left to the individual, the group says there is a “collective responsibility” to change drinking habits.

With this in mind, and to coincide with ‘Dry January’, the JLD confirmed it will not be serving alcohol at any of its events during January 2020.

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As part of the guidance, the JLD — which represents approximately 70,000 law students, trainees and solicitors with up to five years’ post-qualification experience (PQE) — recommends replacing boozy event titles such as ‘drinks’ and ‘champagne reception’ with ‘socialising’ and ‘networking’. This, the group says, will help “divert the initial perception, if not expectation, away from alcohol consumption”.

Elsewhere, the JLD recommends that firms provide a healthy selection of non-alcoholic drinks at events, “not just a warm jug of orange juice”, and swap boozy prizes and gifts for restaurant vouchers, activity days and hampers.

The group also supplies a long list of alternatives to the usual wine and canapés, including paint-balling, hat making, mini-golf, laser tag, cheese tasting, sculpting, historical walks, rounders and windsurfing.

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