I had the pleasure yesterday of an interview with Lorna Jack, the Law Society of Scotland's new Chief Executive.
The appointment of the first non-lawyer to lead the organisation (Ms Jack trained as a CA and has spent most of her career in various roles with Scottish Enterprise, at home and abroad) may have come as a surprise to some, but I came away feeling sure that it will result in a broadening of the Society's outlook as well as helping to minimise any "them and us" feelings that may exist on either side in the Society's dealings with its stakeholders.
The Society after all has plenty of legal expertise, and knowledge of legal practice, within its ranks between its executive and Council. To have someone able to bring an "as ithers see us" perspective to its daily deliberations is bound to be a good thing as it develops its role as part of civic Scotland, and perhaps especially as it prepares for the role envisaged in the Scottish Government's paper on the future of the legal profession.
She of course emphasised that she is only one person in the organisation, and has no panacea for the economic and other issues facing solicitors at present. But Ms Jack's extensive network of contacts, and "can do" attitude, are sure to be an asset in helping the profession become a bit less introspective than it often has been, and giving it the vision to match the challenges of the times.