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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

12 Jun 19

Uncovering the unacceptable

Our self-styled ethical profession has a problem of bullying and harassment. Can it be treated as a question of fitness to practise?

15 May 19

Make wellbeing a thing

Staff wellbeing in legal firms has to become a matter of culture, with supporting mechanisms in place

8 Apr 19

Law for people

The dignity of the law has come before the dignity of those caught up in its processes. What might happen if that were reversed?

12 Mar 19

Shape your future

Despite the uncertainty, it would benefit legal firms to think proactively about how to react to Brexit

11 Feb 19

Flexible is possible

As this month's lead feature illustrates, large and small firms alike can operate flexible working practices, and there appear to be few issues with clients when they do

14 Jan 19

Seeking the positive

A bit of flexibility and imagination can achieve things this year, whether for a business in the face of Brexit or for employees to improve their work-life balance, and wellbeing

3 Dec 18

A turbulent Christmas

Depressing divisions and a lack of clear thinking dominate the Brexit scene. But (stop press) there is something positive in the official reaction to the legal aid review

7 Nov 18

Put to the test

The Society's position as regulator will come under renewed scrutiny following the Roberton report, but the report itself should equally be subjected to proper scrutiny

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?