For the second month in a row I have a brand new website to review. Many thanks, then, to the young lawyers of Scotland for this – their new home on the web.
Scottish Young Lawyers' Association
The SYLA, we are told on the "About Us" page, exists to "represent, educate and entertain" young lawyers - a term which generously includes students, trainees and all lawyers (of whatever age) up to 10 years' PQE. Much of the site is given over to various inducements to join the Association so, if you fit the bill and you're not a member already, you should probably join right away!
The "Who Are We?" page gives pen portraits and photographs of the four members of the executive committee and the five members of the non-executive committee. It also gives a more detailed biography of Honorary President Professor Kenneth Norrie, though no accompanying photograph. However, the site does not contain a copy of the Association's constitution (although it is quoted in part), nor minutes of recent meetings.
Under the Representation heading, you'll find details of the various campaigns and research projects the Association is involved with. These currently include research aimed at preventing bullying and harassment in the workplace, and another which seeks to chronicle the experiences of black and minority ethnic solicitors in Scotland. Participants are sought for these studies and can volunteer via the website.
The education section gives details of forthcoming seminars, and a link to the Law Society of Scotland's New Lawyers CPD pages - this programme is run jointly between the Society and the Association. Booking forms or contact details for booking places are available on each event's page, and ideas for future seminars are solicited on the main education page.
The entertainment section is along similar lines - only the nature of the events is different! Reports of previous events are also given, although some photos might have been a nice touch as well.
If you are no longer a young lawyer, you can still get involved by sponsoring a SYLA event - the website tells you how (and why).
The links section is useful enough, giving details of young lawyers' associations across the globe, and other links that may be of interest to young lawyers. However, three of these links just lead to an error message, something that ought to have been picked up prior to launch.
The members' offers page tantalisingly promises special offers and discounts, but is password protected and accessible only by genuine members.
The navigation within the site is fairly easy, using the internal links down the left hand side (subject to the caveats in the next paragraph), and the design is functional but clear and easy to read. The content is relevant, not too wordy and, for the most part, engaging. The Association is clearly making an attempt to extend its reach online, and this website is a step in the right direction.
Overall, this is a decent website, built by kit and a little untidy around the edges, but perfectly acceptable for all that. It has an annoying (and non-accessible) habit of using the word "here" for many of the internal links and does sometimes take you by surprise by leaping without warning to an external site. These are, however, quite common faults and should be easy to fix. Please fix them, young lawyers, they are spoiling your (otherwise very good) website.
Your homework for this month is:
1. join the SYLA (if you qualify);
2. follow @oSYLAo on Twitter; and
3. join the SYLA group on Facebook. _
Who writes this column?
The website review column is written by Iain A Nisbet of Govan Law Centre
In this issue
- In the wee small hours
- Keeping the law in line
- Only a civil matter?
- Mapping the future
- Rights under question
- What help?
- Shunned lifelines
- The whole deal
- The limits of privilege
- Drugs: a user issue
- Law reform update
- Constitution out for views again
- Tackling bullying and harassment
- First registered paralegals confirmed
- Mediation lawyers can apply
- Look out for the rules reviews
- From the Brussels office
- Are they being served?
- Ask Ash
- Paper, pixel and process
- Check yourself
- Call for restraint
- A step back from compensation?
- Key to compliance
- Website review
- Resource issue
- Book reviews
- Stand up and be counted
- Cool drafting
- Partners in purchase