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Embrace change: Brymer

16 July 07

Report of Professor Stewart Brymer's address to new solicitors at the Admissions Ceremony held in June

We live in an era of growing commoditisation of traditional areas of legal practice, but there are, nevertheless, exciting opportunities for solicitors as we move forward.

That was the message from Professor Stewart Brymer of Thorntons LLP to new solicitors at the Society’s Admission Ceremony held last month. Highlighting that his own career had taken him from being Professor McDonald’s apprentice to advising on contracts for “T in the Park”, he told his audience that their skills were marketable and there was an abundance of opportunities open to them.

“Those of you who are joining the Society today are much better prepared for life and practice than your predecessors”, he continued. “For a start, you are computer literate and have benefited from a much broader training in the practice as well as the theory of law. You still have much to learn, however, and my advice to you is to never cease in your quest for knowledge.”

Professor Brymer advised the new entrants to “remember that one of the key skills you can acquire is how to listen. Indeed, it has been said that ‘deep listeners abandon their ego to the talent of others’”.

“Do not become over-confident”, he added. “You must earn and retain the trust of both your colleagues and your clients. Put simply, treat others fairly and with respect and you will receive the same in return…. By all means aspire to great things and to be the best you can be, but do so with respect and an awareness of those around you. I can assure you that this shines through and clients notice it. Yes, we do live in a highly litigious and ever-growing ‘get rich quick’ society, as evidenced by the media and its focus on programmes such as The Apprentice. You do not have to follow that type of role model to be a winner, however.”

Encouraging the new solicitors to support the Society and to take part in the debates on the future of the legal profession (“where possible, try to give something back to those who follow you”), he concluded: “Remember this simple motto: ‘Everything is new and everything is possible’.”