Jim Stephenson joined the Society's Council earlier this year and sits on the Legal Aid Committee

What made you pursue a career as a solicitor?

My grandfather was a solicitor in Edinburgh and as a child when I talked to him about his work it was clear that he saw his role as helping people with their problems. It was also clear that he enjoyed his work and as a result I decided to be a solicitor.

Why did you decide to stand for Council?

I have been a member of the Legal Aid Committee for a number of years and was keen to represent the interests of legal aid lawyers at Council.

Have your perceptions of the Law Society changed since you joined the Council?

Yes, I am amazed at the amount of time that Council members and committee members dedicate to supporting the work of the Society and the legal profession.

What have been the highlights for you personally?

When I stood for Council earlier this year, it was the first time that I had been involved in an election and it was humbling to see other solicitors support you and vote for you.

What are the main issues that you think Council has to address at the moment?

Council has such a wide range of tasks – legal aid and being proactive regarding law reform whist trying to support all the profession and in particular the trainees and newly qualified lawyers are all issues that I see Council making progress on.

What has been the most surprising aspect of your work as a Council member?

I have been impressed with the support that my colleagues who work at the Society have given me and the other new members of Council.

What are you most looking forward to as part of the Society’s new strategy?

Influencing the decision maker to create a fairer society.

What’s your top tip for new lawyers?

Be confident in your own ability.

If you could change only one thing for your members, what would it be?

I would like to see more support for solicitors who suffer from mental illness.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I play golf, not very well; and I like going to rock festivals around Europe.

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