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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

Flexible is possible

11 Feb 19

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

As the brinkmanship over Brexit continues, we leave it aside this month (but check out an interesting online article from the Law Societies’ Brussels Office on what might be achieved at this stage as Theresa May attempts to renegotiate that backstop).

Instead, having reported last month on the prevalence among practising solicitors of the desire for a better work-life balance, we thought we should look more closely at how flexible arrangements can in fact be made to work despite what some consider a given, that clients demand 24/7 availability.

Indeed, so far as appears from the solicitors who contributed to our lead feature, many clients practise flexible hours too, and are quite happy if people take time out for child related commitments, or other pursuits, at certain times during the day, if they are then available at other times which may in fact also suit the client better.

Nor should it be thought that this can only work in big firms with large teams. Smaller offices, and smaller teams within larger practices, described in our feature illustrate that adopting a flexible (or agile as some call it) ethos, a way can usually be found to accommodate both work and other aspects of life.

No doubt pressures will arise, and lines may be in danger of becoming blurred if IT-enabled remote working becomes hard to put aside even at what should be non-working times, but that is a management issue – and another message to emerge from our discussions is that buy-in should be from the top down if the concept is to work properly. And why shouldn’t that happen? As one respondent put it, the colleagues who will lead the business in the future want more flexibility in their working life.

Raising ACEs

Much is also being made at present of the effect of childhood trauma on life prospects and behaviour in later life. Those leading the push for greater awareness of ACEs (acute childhood experiences) are bringing to Scotland next month two American judges who have dedicated their courts to a better understanding of the mental health issues of those who appear before them, and we hope that this will give rise to some good Journal copy in due course.

At the same time, should more attention not also be paid to ways of reducing the risk of ACEs occurring in the first place, or mitigating their effects if they do? That may be a big ask in these days of reduced social cohesion and greater exposure of children to all sorts of potentially harmful experiences, with little prospect of effective legal controls. But that should not stop us raising awareness at this level also.


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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