Hello, from wet and windy Glasgow. At the time of writing I am at the Central Law Training Scots Law Conference both exhibiting and as a delegate. 

I do love this part of my job, getting to meet accredited paralegals, solicitors and paralegals who aren’t accredited… Yet! I enjoy getting out on the road, hearing your stories, offering advice and assistance and just generally flying the flag for the Accredited Paralegal Status.

For me, one of the highlights of this year’s conference was the opportunity to hear Jennifer Henderson, speak. As Keeper of the Register of Scotland, she is an inspirational figure in the world of conveyancing and is clearly driven to make a positive impact, both for conveyancers and in equality and diversity terms. 

I have heard Jennifer speak on a number of occasions since she took on the keeper role, and this time I was interested to hear her focus more on her personal and professional journey to date and how she plans to move forward.

Jennifer’s content and approach was particularly thought-provoking in the immediate wake of International Women’s Day (#IWD19)which this year caused quite a stir both at the Law Society’s Edinburgh office and online with #WomenInLaw across the UK sharing their perspectives and faces on this important day.

I say ‘faces’ because this year also marked 100 years since the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 which paved the way for women to become lawyers for the first time.  To mark both this and International Women’s Day, the Law Society took part in the First 100 Years a UK-wide project in which over 800 #WomenInLaw had their photos taken in Edinburgh, Belfast, London and Cardiff. Their pictures will be brought together as part of a visual celebration of the First 100 Years of women in law. I myself smiled for the camera. Keep your eye on our website, the First100years website and social media for more info on this. 

But back to #IWD19. This year’s theme was #BalanceforBetter.  In the course of my career, I have seen many positive changes in terms of gender equality in the legal world. 

  • Women now make up 52% of the total solicitor population in Scotland
    30% of partners in Scottish private practices are women – that’s an increase of 5% in the last year
  • Our 2018 Profile of the Profession reported a gender pay gap of 23% in the Scottish legal profession – that’s down from 42% in 2013.
  • And on the flip side and in terms of true gender equality, have seen far more male paralegals emerging from the shadows and claiming this as their chosen career.
  • Of the 592 solicitors accredited as specialists by the Law Society of Scotland Accredited Specialists 43% are male.

And while we’re looking at the numbers,

  • Our 2018 Annual Members Survey revealed that 89% of our members agree that our Accredited Paralegal scheme provides quality standard for paralegals!

 Now that’s a number to be proud of!

As always, please feel free to get in touch with your stories, insights and views about your experience as a paralegal. I am always pleased to hear from you and maybe it could be your face on our next blog!  You can email me at JanetRieu-Clarke@lawscot.org.uk or if you would like to get involved with our 70th Anniversary celebrations you can send a short blog to my Comms colleagues at comms@lawscot.org.uk telling us about the biggest change in the profession, legislation or case law that you have seen.  You can find out more about Platinum here.

Majority of solicitors say Law Society should continue to regulate the profession

93% of respondents in our Annual Members' Survey agree that the Law Society should continue to be responsible for representation, support and regulation of solicitors in Scotland, according to independent research by Mark Diffley Consultancy and Research and Survation.

Law Society turns platinum!

2019 is the Platinum Anniversary of the Law Society of Scotland and a great opportunity to showcase the fantastic work of the Scottish legal profession. You can get involved in the 70th celebrations by designing the cover of the Journal, becoming a Journal associate editor or writing a blog for our website.

Flash, bang, wallop what a picture! Be a part of history

It's International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March 2019 and we're taking part in a UK-wide photography project and we need female solicitors, paralegals, trainees, law students and any woman working for a law firm or legal team to pop into our offices to have their photo taken.