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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

A turbulent Christmas

3 Dec 18

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

What must the rest of the world think of the UK at the moment? Our political leaders remind me of nothing so much as a set of panicked cartoon characters throwing a bomb with a fizzing fuse from one to the next, with none of them apparently having the thought of trying to put it out, as the clock ticks down to the appointed Brexit day with (as I write) no sign of any consensus, or even a majority view, on what to do next.

What has government of this country come to, when the Prime Minister insists her negotiated Brexit deal is the best thing for the country even as her Chancellor's figures show economic decline following Brexit, with or without a deal? And what is the point of the Prime Minister touring the country to win support for a deal she has no intention of putting to the popular vote?

Yet opposition politicians who have professed support for a “People's Vote” have yet to accept what appears to me the logical consequence: accept the Withdrawal Agreement on the express condition that it is put to a referendum, with the other alternatives being Remain, and a no-deal Brexit. What other options could now be put to the people? And what other legal avenues exist to secure a vote?

It is deeply depressing that in this time of national crisis, the political scene is dominated by loud factions seemingly determined to defend their corner to the death – at what cost to the country?

In the face of this turmoil, life goes on. Some will wonder what all the fuss is really about; others may notice effects for example on businesses, the property market, or the ability to hire. There are bound to be consequences; but it will be years before we can assess them fully.

Stop press

The very afternoon this month's issue was completed, the Scottish Government gave its long-awaited response to the recommendations in Martyn Evans's review of legal aid – principally, in terms of firm commitments, the 3% across-the-board fee increase from April 2019, and the undertaking to work with the profession on devising an evidence based model for agreeing fee levels longer term. The 3% has not exactly had legal aid lawyers dancing in the streets (no surprise, after so many years of real-terms cuts), but dare I suggest that the greater prize is the prospect of a stable arrangement for keeping fees under review. If ever there was a time to engage constructively with the Government, it is now. Legal aid lawyers have been forced to play a long game; may the review yet turn out to work to their advantage longer term. Season's greetings, everyone.


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Blog archive

7 Oct 19

High noon

The welcome decision of the UK Supreme Court in the prorogation case shows the need for a court free from political influence

9 Sep 19

Courts and politics

Courts should be able to intervene if an abuse of power threatens the balance between executive and legislature

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