Each year, the Law Society of Scotland holds three admission ceremonies to welcome Scotland’s newest solicitors into the profession. Attending those ceremonies and seeing the beaming grins of newly admitted solicitors and their friends and families is one of the highlights of my job.
I know it’s a highlight for others too – at the most recent ceremony, Christine McLintock, President of the Society, said she had spoken to a young lawyer at a recent event who said her admission ceremony was one of the proudest days of her life. It turns out she wasn’t alone, as Christine still has the programme from her own admission ceremony on 8 April 1988 and had brought it along!
It made me wonder if, on 8 April 1988, Christine was thinking about becoming the Society’s President and whether any of the solicitors being admitted that day could see themselves in the same position. She encouraged them all to get involved with the various groups and bodies across Scotland’s legal landscape.
There are lots of ways to get more involved and make your voices heard. Earlier this year there was a record turnout in the elections for local Society Council members who represent constituencies across Scotland, England and Wales. Many of our members also took part in the mentoring scheme or volunteered as judges in this year’s Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament.
You can also join one of the Law Society committees; in fact some of our committees are recruiting new members right now.
The Law Reform team brings in people from within and outwith the legal profession to scrutinise legislation, helping to ensure that any new law which is passed is technically sound and workable in practice. As well as our law reform committees, we have representative committees, regulatory committees, and for those of you working outside of a law firm, in local government or the corporate sector, there’s the In-house Lawyers Group.
I was approached by one of the new solicitors just after the admission ceremony who was already interested in joining a committee. I look forward to seeing what they choose to do with their career.
I’ll leave you with the thoughts of someone else looking forward. Elise Camilleri-Brennan, fifth year student at Dollar Academy, ended her week of work experience at the Society by attending the admission ceremony: “On Friday I went to the admission ceremony in the spectacular Signet Library, and it was a fantastic way to end the week. It was a very special event and I was honoured to be invited along to it. I enjoyed seeing each new solicitor receive their well-earned certificate, and perhaps one day in the future, I might be doing the very same thing.”
To find out more about joining a committee, the mentoring scheme or the other ways to get involved with the work of the Society, visit www.lawscot.org.uk