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Society blog

21 Feb 18

Scottish Legal International comes to fruition

Joint initiative aims to promote Scottish profession internationally

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

Editors Blog

Trends and revelations

4 Dec 17

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

Having run our annual employment survey for several years now, the results can begin to follow something of a pattern. Nevertheless, it is possible to spot potentially interesting trends emerging; and there always seem to be interesting little nuggets waiting to be uncovered. Usually, too, some topical development has emerged that is worth reflecting in an addition to our questionnaire. This year has been no exception.

As for trends, there is some evidence, as we report in our lead feature, of a narrowing of the gender pay gap at more senior levels, where it had previously been most noticeable. But at the same time some size of gap still seems to develop from early stages after qualification, certainly before most solicitors have any family commitments that might affect their career paths, and why this should be is not clear. Hopefully if the Society repeats its Profile of the Profession survey in 2018, as planned (see p 46), this can be explored.

One nugget that we spotted this time is the difference between the proportions of men and women who continue working full time after starting a family, with men being up to three times as likely to do so. While not really surprising, it bears out the wisdom that true career equality will not arrive as long as women are expected to be principal carers.

This year’s new topic for the survey was sexual harassment, which suddenly became an issue in most walks of life a couple of months ago. We felt it almost incumbent on the Journal to try to uncover what size of a problem it has been in the profession, and at least one respondent expressly thanked us for that.

In short, although a majority of both men and women have neither experienced sexual harassment nor heard of it happening, more than a fifth of women (and a smaller number of men) have been the target of unwanted conduct, and even more know of others who have. That must come as a wakeup call both to employers, to try to reassure their staff that if concerns are raised they will be considered seriously and sensitively, and to all individuals, to ask themselves, as certain public figures have had to, whether their past conduct might have involved incidents that went beyond the bounds of acceptable behaviour.

Beyond that, the survey shows a profession that – with exceptions – regards its prospects not much differently from a year ago, which is to say neither improving nor getting very much worse. There will be many causes of uncertainty over the next year, so we hope that for all of you the festive period at least brings its measure of good cheer. Happy Christmas.

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Blog archive

9 Oct 18

Under siege

After the extra money announced for prosecutors and then the police, something has to be done now for the defence sector

10 Sep 18

Programme for action?

How much can we expect to happen through the Scottish Government's Programme for Government?

6 Aug 18

No deal, no say?

The arguments for a second EU referendum apply with greater force in a "no deal" scenario

9 Jul 18

System under threat

Items in this month's issue illustrate increasing threats to the rule of law and the integrity of the legal system

11 Jun 18

Speaking out

The benefit sanctions system has drawn some unusually sharp comments from the Society, but the need for such strictures is likely to increase

8 May 18

After Windrush

The treatment of those of Caribbean origin shows a need for the law to be rebalanced

9 Apr 18

Mind the gap

Do the Gender Pay Gap Regulations provide enough useful information to justify their approach?

12 Mar 18

Case to be made

If the independent legal aid review could not find evidence to support a general rise in fees, what should the response be?

9 Feb 18

Crunch time

The independent reports due in the next few months will be an indication of how the profession is seen from outside

9 Jan 18

Hold tight for 2018

Get set for another rollercoaster ride through the year