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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

The year that was

6 Dec 16

The Journal employment survey reveals a gloomy outlook; how can solicitors meet clients' needs in these times?

Maybe some who move in other circles than mine would disagree, but I have not heard many good things said about 2016. The unmistakable swing against the prevailing liberal (and international) ethos of the post-war decades strikes me as far from healthy, and I do fear for where it will all end.

Presumably taking more of a business perspective, respondents to the Journal's employment survey, the subject of our lead feature, certainly adopted a gloomy outlook. A strikingly sharp turn to negative sentiment, both in relation to the past 12 months and as respects the outlook for the next, is there for all to see.

There is no doubt either that fingers are pointing at the Brexit vote as the chief culprit. While a sizeable percentage either think it will make little difference to their own organisation or don't really know, very few think it will be beneficial, whereas an overall majority think their employer will be “somewhat adversely” or “very adversely” affected.

Interestingly, this sentiment was more pronounced among bigger firms, whose clients may well be more exposed, or more immediately exposed, if a more difficult trading environment, and a slower economy, do indeed result, as still predicted by respected independent forecasters despite the scorn being heaped on them by some who should know better. If the transactions on which those firms substantially depend for revenue become less frequent as a result, it is not difficult to follow their thinking.

At the same time, taking a step back and trying to be as objective as possible, the greater the uncertainty, the greater the need for advice and guidance. More than ever, professional advisers are likely to be called on to step beyond their training and their practice specialisms, to help their clients take strategic decisions that will enable them to take advantage of the reshaped world as it emerges over the next however many years. It is those who are onside with their clients' needs and concerns, and who can proactively, and imaginatively, support and guide them through the fog of uncertainty, who are likely to prosper in the climate in which we now find ourselves.

Coincidentally, this month we also begin an exploration of sector marketing (p 44), which seems to me to sit well with this approach, and which larger firms are certainly now taking seriously.

And on that note I wish all readers a happy and relaxing Christmas holiday break. The new year will be demanding enough!


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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?