Online consultation launched by Law Society of Scotland
The Law Society of Scotland is urging anyone interested in legal education to take part in a three-month, web-based consultation on legal education - the largest consultation of its kind ever undertaken by the Law Society of Scotland. The consultation was launched on Thursday, November 9, and will run for three months. The Society is encouraging anyone interested in legal education to fill out an on-line questionnaire giving their views on the way solicitors are currently trained and to make suggestions of how it could be changed. “Every response will count and will be considered by the Society. We are starting with a blank sheet and open minds about this and the more views the better,” said Liz Campbell, the Society’s Director of Education and Training. “We’re asking everyone to fill out a main questionnaire which asks things like whether lawyers need a law degree, as opposed to simply passing appropriate exams; what form the traineeship should take; and the ongoing training and assessment requirements for practising solicitors. It can easily be completed during a lunch break. There are also separate questionnaires on different aspects of legal education, for example, the traineeship, which allow people to give their views in detail and if someone is interested in all areas of legal education they can fill out all four questionnaires. “We have had a great response from the profession about the consultation including a group of solicitors who’ve hired out an internet café to complete the consultation en masse,” said Neil Stevenson, deputy director of Education and Training at the Society. “We are also hoping that people who are not solicitors but who have an interest in legal education - such as students, lecturers and clients who have used the services of a solicitor, will take part. The more views we gather the better and will mean that the proposals which do come out of the consultation will reflect the wide range of opinions people have.” With everyone from clients to judges contributing to a revised statement of standards, and how they should be assessed, it will be easier for the Society to examine new routes to qualification. This may in time increase flexibility for those wishing to become solicitors, whilst at the same time maintaining the best of what is an internationally recognised professional training. “Different elements of the traditional route to qualification as a solicitor have been reviewed and changed in recent years. However, this will be the first review of every aspect of education and training. It’s an exciting challenge for the Society but also for the profession, universities, students and anyone who would like their say on the future of legal education,” added Liz Campbell.