Consultation 'leading to change in legal education'

Legal aid for Scottish consumers is hoped to improve as a result of new education and training practices for the legal profession, it has been announced.

The Law Society Scotland has announced the conclusion of its consultation on training and education in legal matters, stating that a key concern in the sector was that solicitors be able to provide the "very best advice and service for their clients".

The society asserted that it was the only jurisdiction in the world to commission a review of legal educational processes of such scale, taking an "holistic approach" which could result in "radical change" for the industry.

Some 900 responses were garnered by the society’s request for comment on the law sector as it stands, from individual solicitors, academics and students in the field, the Scottish Consumer Council and a wide variety of other observers.

Liz Campbell, director of Education and Training at the Society, said: "There has been an excellent response with many insightful comments from across the spectrum of those involved in legal education " from first year students to those who have been in practice for many years – and other interested parties which will fully inform our work.

The society is now preparing a set of "rigorous standards" with client focus key in informing the re-evaluation of the system.

Other respondents to the review included Scottish Women’s Aid, the Scottish Refugee Council and the Office of Fair Trading.

Last week the Law Society Scotland announced the appointment of a new president, John MacKinnon, who said that his "busy and challenging" year as vice president had set him in good stead for the role.