“My daddy is a movie actor, and sometimes he plays the good guy, and sometimes he plays the lawyer”
Malcolm Ford tells his preschool classmates what his father, actor Harrison Ford, does for a living.
The legal profession seems to face a constant battle to win the goodwill of the general public, and perhaps with this in mind the Law Society of Scotland has published a step by step guide designed to help solicitors satisfy the needs of clients.
The guide, titled “Ensuring fairness, creating opportunities” embraces the diversity of modern life and also aims to put environmental sustainability under the same umbrella as profitability.
Close attention is paid to the provisions of the 2010 Equality Act, with particular emphasis on serving clients with a disability.
Just over a third of Scottish households include at least one person suffering from a long term health issue or disability. At various times and in various ways, people in these situations can be made to feel alienated and disenfranchised. The guide is designed to do the opposite, and contains numerous case studies illustrating good practice in considering the individual circumstances and needs of every client.
The profession’s efforts to reach out to all social groups is not confined to Scotland. In England and Wales, leading firms have taken the initiative both internally and externally. Wragge & Co, for example, have initiated mentoring programmes for teenaged students from under privileged backgrounds, encouraging them to find out more about the day to day work of a legal professional and offering coaching in interview and presentation techniques. Young people without social advantages are being offered a bridge to a worthwhile and lucrative career. Notable support is also available from the Law Society Diversity Access Scheme, offering a major financial boost to those seeking to overcome exceptional obstacles in their quest to enter the legal profession. For those already in the field, disability champion mentoring programmes provide confidential advice and guard against any kind of discrimination.
As with any new guideline, “Ensuring fairness, creating opportunities” will require compliance in fine detail. EVS Translations has a 20 year track record supporting clients with legal and compliance translation projects to and from all major global languages. Our partners include seven of the leading ten international law firms, as well as regional specialists in all corners of the globe. When clients require translation with flawless precision, this is their port of call. We look forward to helping them maintain their standards and further boost their reputations.
In the meantime the message from the legal profession is clear. Good practice means good business. And good guys make good lawyers.