Newly qualified Scottish solicitors and trainees who have been admitted to the profession can for the first time stand for election as a Law Society Council member.
Council members agreed the new process which allows solicitors up to five years qualified and trainee solicitors to vote online for their preferred Council representative for new lawyers.
The Council seat for newly qualified solicitors was first introduced in 2009, to ensure that the specific needs of those in the early stages of their careers were reflected in the decision making process. The 2018 elections, which open next week, will be the first in which the NQ representative, is elected by their peers rather than appointed by a panel of interviewers, as was previously the case.
Liz Campbell, Executive Director of Education Training and Qualifications said: “It is vital for the healthy progression of the profession, that the views of our newer members are heard. This is a chance to shape Law Society policy and I would urge newly qualified solicitors and admitted trainees to take this opportunity to stand for Council. And when the time comes, I would strongly encourage NQ and all trainee colleagues to vote for your preferred representative - make sure you have your say.”
Graham Matthews, President of the Law Society, said: “I became a Council member in 2005 and have found it both challenging and rewarding. It is a unique opportunity to meet with solicitors from across Scotland, broaden your understanding of the diverse range of practices and represent the views of solicitors with shared perspectives, whether they relate to region, sector or stage of career. I would strongly encourage my fellow Scottish solicitors to stand for election. “
Nominations open on Monday 19 March. There are ten seats available in six constituencies across Scotland and candidates must have a business address in the relevant constituency.
- Alloa, Falkirk, Lithlithgow & Stirling – 2 seats
- Arbroath, Dundee & Forfar – 1 seat
- Campbeltown, Dumbarton, Dunoon, Oban, Rothesay & Fort William – 2 seats
- Dingwall, Dornach, Elgin, Inverness, Kirkwall, Lerwick, Lochmaddy, Portree, Stornoway, Tain & Wick - 2 seats
- Duns, Haddington, Jedburgh, Peebles and Selkirk – 2 seats
- Greenock, Kilmarnock and Paisley – 1 seat (by-election)
Nominations are also being invited to represent Scottish solicitors working in England and Wales and newly qualified and trainee solicitors.
- England and Wales – 1 seat (candidates’ work address must be based in England or Wales)
- Newly qualified solicitors – 1 seat
Nominations for the twelve available seats in the 2018 elections should be submitted by 12 noon Wednesday 25 April.
Voting will be open from 12 noon on Thursday 3 May 2018 and will close 12 noon Wednesday 16 May. The successful candidates will be invited to attend their first Council meeting on Friday 1 June 2018.
More information about the application process and what’s involved in being a Council member can be found on our website and any queries can be directed the Law Society Registrar, DavidCullen@lawscot.org.uk