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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

Crunch time

9 Feb 18

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

The coming months will see something of a test of how the Society, and the profession, fares when given a report card by an independent, informed outsider who has taken a close look at aspects of its work.

Not that it/they are the sole subject of scrutiny in either review that is due to report between now and the summer, the review of legal aid under Martyn Evans and the review of the regulation of legal services under Esther Roberton. But in each case there has been a strongly supported position (or set of proposals) put forward, and the stakes are high. Much time and effort has been put into the submissions from the profession, and no doubt everything has been said that could have been said, but other voices have been competing to be heard and the conclusions reached will to an extent indicate how others see us.

With the legal aid review, which could be released almost any time now, there is the additional recent background of the withdrawal of many solicitors from the police station duty scheme as the 2016 Criminal Justice Act threatens to impose even further demands on the stretched criminal legal aid sector. But although a potential cause of much disruption – the reasons why that has not come to pass in the first weeks of the Act remain unclear – their action should at its core be seen as a symptom of the increasing lack of funding of the sector over recent years, and a sign that the profession feels it is finally being pushed too far for the limited rewards on offer.

As for the Roberton review, the renewed tussle with the SLCC over its next budget and set of levies is one element to add some spice. What sort of oversight should be in place for the complaints body? And what should be done about the procedures it has to follow (as to which the SLCC itself is equally keen to see reform)? Possibilities regarding the latter include more sharing of initial complaint handling on the one hand, to the Society losing its role in relation to professional misconduct on the other. But the Society also has a much longer list of legislative change it believes to be necessary for modern conditions. The direction Ms Roberton chooses will have implications for all solicitors, not to mention the wider public. And a window for submissions from all with an interest has now been opened, until 30 March.


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Blog archive

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

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