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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

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?

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