The nerves on taking up office are like those on starting a traineeship, but the preparation as Vice President and the support of our talented Past President will make facing the challenges easier

I am writing this on the eve of becoming your 53rd President. I feel a heady mix of excitement, enthusiasm and nervous anticipation. It is rather like how I felt the night before I started my traineeship, the “what if I don’t know anything” kind of feeling. Apparently this is a good sign – it lets me know I have much to learn, and certainly I know this to be true.

Members have asked me, how do you prepare for this role? I think it is an iterative process. Few of us have the luxury of a year in training, and the past year as Vice President has been just that. It has been a wonderful opportunity to meet with our members, learn about current issues, re-learn the law in many cases, and gain confidence in public speaking. I feel sure that with the support of the Law Society Council, new Vice President Graham Matthews, our talented chief executive and staff team, some hard work, a listening ear and a good sense of humour the year ahead will be the most rewarding of my professional life. I am truly honoured to be your President.

Uncertain futures and facing new challenges are also among the topics which have featured in this month’s events at our new offices at Atria One, Edinburgh. From workshops for returning maternity and adoption leavers and managers, to a hackathon and a lively discussion with Judge Ian Forrester QC on the EU referendum, we have welcomed many members’ views on these diverse topics and have hopefully furthered debate, interest and learning in the process.

In closing, I would like to say a few words about our Past President, Christine McLintock. The words “effortlessly elegant” come quickly to mind: with gracious diplomacy, Christine has been a powerful advocate for the Society, for all of our members and for the public, particularly in connection with the future sustainability of legal aid. I am so delighted she will be around in the coming year to provide continuing support and guidance to me and Graham. We look forward to a sprinkling of McLintock pzazz as we commence the year ahead.

The Author
Eilidh Wiseman is President of the Law Society of Scotland – president@lawscot.org.uk; Twitter: @eilidh_wiseman 
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