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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

Seeking the positive

14 Jan 19

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

Often by this stage in January what began as a bright new year is looking a bit frayed at the edges. 2019 shows every sign of repeating that pattern, but for some at least the year will be a good one and we can only express the hope that that will include most Journal readers.

Among this month’s features we have something a little different, the contribution from the Fraser of Allander Institute on Brexit and Scotland’s economy. Without wishing to oversimplify matters, it might be summarised as saying that while there is bound to be disruption, and a negative impact on economic growth, opportunities will undoubtedly exist for those with ambition and the willingness to seize them.

Meanwhile, something even more likely to impact on individual solicitors is the findings of the Profile of the Profession survey, the subject of our lead feature, and the Society’s proposed actions in response. These show some encouraging trends, particularly in the narrowing of the gender pay gap, and in the perception, quite widely shared though admittedly felt more strongly by male than female solicitors, that gender equality has improved “to a great extent” over the last five years.

However, the levels of discrimination, bullying and harassment experienced even in recent times have to be a concern, whether or not they reflect what happens in wider society: are ethics not supposed to be a particular hallmark of our profession? Thus while our Law Society, even as a regulatory and disciplinary body, cannot promise to eradicate such behaviour, it can at least work with others, as it proposes, to bring about the culture change that would ensure it is regarded as unacceptable.

Separately, there is clearly work to be done to reduce expectations that solicitors should work long hours beyond their contractual obligations. What appears to be a growing sense that the right work-life balance is in itself an important goal, or even the most important, is not just a fad of our times but something that for many is essential to good mental health and perhaps their very future in the profession. If 73% of women (and 60% of men) who have been qualified between six and 10 years have considered leaving altogether, and around 70% of those cite poor work-life balance, employers risk a serious drain of talent at a time when succession issues are already a major concern. Not to recognise such warning signs is short-termism writ large.

Time for some positive thinking, both at the macro and micro level, as to what can be achieved with a bit of flexibility and imagination.

 

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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?