The Society recently announced that this year for the first time every Scottish solicitor will have to renew their practising certificate online.

The online system will save solicitors and their firms time. It’ll save bundles of paper too. But a paperless system also means a penless one, and now more than ever, could it be that the humble pen is what really needs to be saved?

Traditionally, it’s been the one tool that solicitors couldn’t do without – for jotting down information in a client meeting, signing contracts, scribbling notes in court, or using it as an improvised head-scratcher when a really tricky case comes along.

But, arguably, not any more.

On top of online PC renewal, the smartcard means digital signatures are on the way in. This will inevitably result in fewer pens hitting paper on contracts, missives, court submissions, terms of agreement letters for clients and so on.

Digital conveyancing is also on the horizon, so people could soon be able to become the owner of a property, without their solicitor owning a pen.

Will all this render the law firm pen just another relic of a bygone era – something to be kept around merely as a branded giveaway for clients or as a novelty topic on social media?

Or are we missing the ballpoint?

You could argue that it will always serve a purpose – that it’s easier to take notes in a meeting on a paper pad than on the "i" equivalent, and that a stylus just won’t cut it when it comes to scribbling down a phone number.

Does your firm buy in as many branded pens as before? Will you miss writing your signature the old-fashioned way? Is there any hope for the pen?

Answers on a postcard please (a handwritten one for old time’s sake).

Sean Callery is a digital communications executive at the Law Society of Scotland working in the Communications, Marketing & Public Affairs team