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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

System under threat

9 Jul 18

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

This column speaks out from time to time in support of the rule of law and the integrity of the legal system. Without wishing to sound repetitive, a number of items in this month’s issue raise these related, and vital, themes.

While complacent politicians are a frequent target for criticism – as below – it could be said that sometimes the profession does not do its own cause any good. Witness our online article “Missives: time to add a penalty”. It tells of an elderly client who had a stroke due to the stress induced by two failed attempts to sell her house as missives had not concluded. Whether the author’s proposed solution is the right one can be debated, but he is not alone in calling for urgent action to preserve the reputation of the profession and restore the integrity of our housebuying system.

The actions of lending institutions also impact on transactions. Whatever commercial pressures they claim to face, there is surely no excuse if a lender completely fails to deliver a discharge following repayment of a loan. Yet a correspondent on the letters page has twice experienced just that, leaving both him and his fellow agent in breach of various obligations. He believes a remedy may lie in an addition to the standard clauses. Good luck to him in pursuing that, but it should not be necessary.

Much more serious issues threaten the criminal justice system in England & Wales, and have been illustrated, starkly but without exaggeration, in the book known only by the author’s mask of The Secret Barrister. “The impact of devastating cuts is on display daily,” it states, and our reviewer this month (see the online version for a fuller picture) has certainly sat up and taken notice. “The heat engendered as it excoriates the current state of the English justice system is awesome,” he writes. “While our Scottish system is different, many of the outrages set out in this book will be happening on our doorsteps too.”

The book has been distributed to MPs and we can only hope that enough of them start to take notice. Given the apparent, and recently illustrated, influence of Government whips when it comes to a vote, that may not be enough.

At least we have not yet reached the situation in Poland, where the Chief Justice is, as I write, resisting attempts by the President to force her retirement under new powers condemned by the EU as a threat to the legal order. But the threats in this country, though more insidious, are just as real. All lawyers should be proactive against them, including by ensuring our own house is in order.

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Blog archive

12 Aug 19

Constitutional meltdown?

The fundamentals of our constitution should not be put at risk simply in order to achieve Brexit by the scheduled date

8 Jul 19

70, and counting

The Society is in good shape as it turns 70, though uncertainty lies ahead

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