Media Release: New lawyers needed to shape the future

A GROUP of students, trainees and other new lawyers is being set up to shape the future support given to those entering the solicitors’ profession, under Law Society of Scotland plans.

The formation of the New Lawyers’ Group is part of the Society’s Supporting New Lawyers Strategy 2010/11. Members of the group will include individual new lawyers as well as representatives from organisations for new lawyers.

Heather McPhee, the Society’s development officer for new lawyers, said: “New lawyers are the future of the solicitors’ profession – it is vital that they are at the heart of the work of the Society.

“Setting up the reference group will give new lawyers a platform to shape the support given to the profession of tomorrow. The group will encourage constructive relationships and clear communications among new lawyer groups and the Society.”

Jackie McRae, the member of the Society’s Council who represents new lawyers, added: “We must continue to respond to the demands of new lawyers and improve the services they receive, particularly during difficult economic times. The strategy is flexible so that it can adapt to changing circumstances and requirements.”

The objectives of the strategy are to:

• provide high quality information, advice and support to new lawyers on the route to qualification

• provide high quality professional advice and guidance on entering the profession and practising as a solicitor

• support the learning and development of the next generation of solicitors

• provide careers support, advice and assistance to new lawyers

• promote the concept of a ‘legal community’ from the earliest stages

The new strategy builds on the previous New Lawyers’ Engagement Strategy, which was launched in 2007. It has been developed to take forward the work of the Society in promoting existing projects and developing new ways to meet the needs of new lawyers.

The year ahead is particularly important for new lawyers – students, trainees and solicitors up to five years qualified – as the route to qualification as a solicitor will change in September 2011 to better equip those entering the profession with the skills and expertise they need.

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Contact: Suzy Powell
Phone: 0131 476 8115