I was elected to represent my solicitor colleagues in the Haddington Peebles, Jedburgh, Duns and Selkirk constituency in May 2015. I was aware that the previous member had decided to effectively retire and I felt like it was a good opportunity to get involved. I had previously been Dean of the Society of Solicitors for the Shires of Selkirk and Peebles and had some awareness of the work of the Law Society, but it was pretty peripheral. I have to say that I have never regretted my decision to join the team.

In terms of what to expect time commitment wise, the Council meets eight times a year on a Friday morning, and you are expected to make every effort to attend. The meetings usually stretch across the morning (there is always a lot to discuss and we are a chatty bunch) but it is a bit easier these days as the meetings are virtual.

As a Council member, you are also encouraged to sit on a committee or two – If you take a look at the Committees page on the Law Society website, you will see that there really is something for everyone and I challenge you not to find something you will want to get your teeth into. Some of the Committees meet as often as once a month and again these are currently online.

Shortly after joining the Council, I became a member of the Admissions Committee. and the Civil Justice Committee Despite these groups meeting fairly regularly and my being in demanding full-time roles – initially in my own high street civil court practice and subsequently in a large local law firm I never felt the commitment to attend the Council or Committee meetings very onerous.
The benefits of attending more than justified the time commitments. It really is a fantastic opportunity to network and meet colleagues and to feel that you are involved in making decisions which have a real impact on the work we do and how we do it.

That involvement in the bigger picture became even more real for me two years ago when I took on the role of the Civil Legal Aid Convener. As a result of Coronavirus and the increasingly dire financial situation for legal aid solicitors, it was possibly the most challenging time to take up that position. My committee and the criminal legal aid committee have been meeting with the Scottish Government, the Scottish Legal Aid Board and the Scottish Bar Association very frequently to discuss matters which will have a huge bearing on the profession, access to justice and our society as a whole. I have derived a real sense of satisfaction knowing that I am involved and contributing to the bigger picture.

The experience has given me a much greater insight and appreciation for the support and guidance provided to Council members and Committees by the Law Society’s senior leadership team and their staff and the positive implications that has for the profession.

In summary if you are considering running for Council please be assured that the commitment is manageable, the support from the Law Society immeasurable and the whole experience hugely rewarding.

Council vacancies

Find out more about the role of our Council and look out for opportunities to get involved.

Our Council

The Council is our decision-making body. It's made up of elected members from geographical constituencies, co-opted and non-solicitor members.

Law Society invites nominations for Cupar, Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy Council member

Nominations are now invited for solicitors aspiring to join the Law Society of Scotland’s decision-making body, representing their colleagues in the Cupar, Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy constituency.