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Keep the dual role

18 March 19

The Society’s dual role should remain; it is an effective regulator; and its member services are valued. These are among the findings of the latest member survey carried out for the Society

by Nicola Johnstone

Representation and regulation are key functions for the Society, according to the results of a recent survey of 512 Scottish solicitors and trainee solicitors.

In the annual members’ survey carried out at the end of 2018, 93% of respondents agreed that the Society should continue to be responsible for representation, support and regulation of solicitors in Scotland; and 91% agreed that the Society is an effective regulator of the solicitor profession.

These results are particularly pertinent in the context of the Scottish Government’s independent review of the regulation of legal services.

The annual telephone survey, which was carried out by Mark Diffley Consultancy and Research and Survation on behalf of the Society, allows our members the opportunity to provide their views on the Society’s priorities and wider policy issues, and tracks year-on-year trends. It also provides important cross-sector insight on topical issues.

The allocation of resources to legal aid remains a priority according to 85% of respondents. Access to justice continues to be a key focus for our policy team.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Brexit featured in the responses to our survey: 24% of respondents said that Brexit had featured in advice given to clients, and it was identified as the single biggest issue facing our members (17%).

But what do our members think of the services they receive from the Society?

In recognition of the high professional status of accredited paralegals, almost nine in 10 respondents (89%) believe that our Accredited Paralegal scheme provides a professional qualification and identifiable quality standard for paralegals across the profession.

The results also revealed that a majority of respondents are aware of our Professional Practice team, in particular high street practitioners (83%). This is a valuable resource for our members who would like guidance or to raise any issues they may have.

Finally, an amazing result that we would like to shout about – 95% of respondents said that they are proud to be part of the Scottish legal profession.

If you’d like to read more about the results of the survey, please visit the research pages of our website. Click here to see key statistics from the survey.

Nicola Johnstone, solicitor, is a research executive at the Law Society of Scotland

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