Crystal ball gazing has a reputation for making predictions that are, in some cases at least, horse manure. I refer to the, possibly apocryphal, suggestion at the end of the 19th century that every London street would be buried under nine feet of manure within 50 years due to a continued upsurge in horse-drawn vehicles. The prediction, as it happened, failed to consider both of the impact of motorised transport and the decline of horse travel.

Circumstances change – a lesson the Society has taken into account in setting aims and objectives for the coming five to 10 years. Yet while doing so, a great deal of work has gone into putting together an ambitious strategy for the Society, our members and the clients they represent.

The overarching aim of Towards 2020, which was outlined to members at today’s special general meeting, is to lead and support a successful and respected Scottish legal profession, a goal that puts the interests of both the solicitors’ profession and the public at its core. And in thinking how to achieve this, we have set five principal objectives: excellent solicitor professionalism and reputation; our members are trusted advisers of choice; our members are economically active and sustainable; the Society is the professional body and regulator of choice; and, the Society is a high-performing organisation. Find more details at

Making long-term plans during a period of such economic turbulence is challenging in itself. As the world’s economists – and 19th century prophets of doom – have shown, producing accurate forecasts is no simple matter. However, the Society is committed to supporting solicitors in their daily working lives. And I am confident that distilling the issues they face and providing a set of common goals will ensure that we continue to lead a successful and respected profession – you might call it 20/20 vision.

Lorna Jack is Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland