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Society blog

30 Aug 17

A paralegal's tale

Janet Rieu-Clarke, the Law Society’s accredited paralegal, explains the path that led her to new role at the Society and the rationale behind the new accredited paralegal status.

30 Aug 17

A call to vote from John Scott

John Scott QC urges his fellow solicitor advocates to vote for their dedicated representative

29 Aug 17

No globalisation without representation...

Katie Hay discusses the globalisation of the legal market and urges Scottish solicitors working internationally, to get involved

24 Jul 17

Bringing the world to "world-class"

Sarah Sutton, digital communications executive at the Law Society of Scotland, talks about her bright idea to ensure international representation on the Society’s Council

26 Jun 17

The Debate - backstage, front of house and top tips

In this mini-series of blogs, three key players in the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament share their individual perspectives of the event.

19 Jun 17

Got a passion for the profession?

Could one of the 23 current vacancies for 16 different committees be just right for you?

28 Apr 17

Professional Practice - advising the advisers

Scottish solicitors help their clients through some of the most momentous occasions of their lives, personal or professional, good or bad. But where do solicitors turn for support? Prof Prac, that's where.

1 Nov 16

How getting involved in debating can change your life

Head of education Rob Marrs explains how getting involved in debating, whether as competitor or judge, can be incredibly rewarding. And more importantly, he explains how to win a debate.

14 Oct 16

Career development and volunteering at the Law Society of Scotland

If you want to enhance your career, develop your skills or just give back to your profession, there are lots of different personal and professional development opportunities at the Society

4 Oct 16

Going international – a Scots lawyer's week at the IBA

John Morgan, a newly qualified solicitor at Brodies, recently received a scholarship from the International Bar Association to attend its annual conference in Washington DC. He tells of his experience

Editors Blog

Fighting an unseen enemy

8 Nov 16

Solicitors need more advice and guidance against the threat from cyber criminals

There is no escaping the drive to digitise. As a profession we have known that for long enough, and by and large have got to grips with devices and systems that do, after all, improve our efficiency in carrying out client work (or in some cases have to be used anyway).

But many of us would, I think, equally admit to not making the most of what we have available to us, perhaps due to a lack of full instruction; and equally it is likely that we are not up to speed with the threats posed by malevolent outsiders looking to exploit our limitations, or with the most effective countermeasures.

Such would be a proper conclusion to draw, both from the Society’s first technology survey report of the profession, and from last month’s Technology and Cybercrime Conference with which its publication coincided.

These conferences can be a bit of a mixed bag. It is very easy for those who spend their lives in IT to start talking in ways that leave others quite out of their depth. Or sometimes they simply fail to relate the relevance of their topic sufficiently to day-to-day legal practice.

Hats off, then, to the speaker who, as I report on p 24, began his presentation by recounting how he was able to access various solicitor firms’ office systems with nothing more than a smartphone and a speculative enquiry to the firms whose networks he was able to detect with it. Truly we are our own worst enemies sometimes; but that only goes to show the gaps in the knowledge and understanding of some in the profession, or their employees, who would otherwise count themselves diligent about client confidentiality.

The same speaker noted that while the practice rules charge solicitors with upholding this duty, and ensuring that employees do likewise, and the Data Protection Act also contains a clear statement about ensuring the security of personal data held, with severe penalties for breach, little guidance is available to help solicitors put this into practice.

On this front the Society was urged to do more to help. In response we were told that work is indeed in hand, though we await further detail. It is to be hoped that the outcome will not be too long delayed. We regularly hear of the threats posed by email fraudsters to conveyancing transactions and the money involved, with quite specific advice on precautions to take. From what we heard at the conference, practitioners need some more general support, in both their own and the public’s interest.

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Blog archive

9 Jan 18

Hold tight for 2018

Get set for another rollercoaster ride through the year

4 Dec 17

Trends and revelations

From the Journal employment survey: sexual harassment must be taken seriously

9 Nov 17

Mergers and markets

After the Maclays-Dentons merger, what now for the independent Scottish legal firm?

9 Oct 17

For the greater good

The profession should support those who attempt to improve the lot of the most vulnerable

11 Sep 17

Brexit and the legal order

Government recognition of the need to continue civil judicial cooperation with EU countries after Brexit is welcome, but how can it exclude the involvement of the CJEU?

7 Aug 17

Taking access to justice seriously

The House of Lords decision on employment tribunal fees elevates this constitutional principle

10 Jul 17

Advance of the courts

There is momentum behind civil procedure reform, and practitioners need to be alert to have their say

12 Jun 17

Defend our rights

Don't sacrifice rights to combat terrorism; welcome to Edinburgh for the UK Supreme Court

8 May 17

Review time

Patience will be needed as regards the outcome of the new review of legal services regulation, but there is much for the profession to concern itself with meantime

10 Apr 17

Complaints about the Commission

It is not surprising that solicitors are complaining about the SLCC budget and levy – but what should be done?