‘Professionals whose world has changed may look the new world in the eye and find the means to live in it.’ In this one phrase, judges at first instance in the challenge to the lord chancellor’s criminal legal aid reforms summed up the way we are as a profession.
We don’t yet know the final outcome of the fight, but some may warn that the standard of publicly funded legal advice will plummet, and that the criminal justice system may crumble and be irreparably damaged. But this is to ignore history. History shows that we are supremely adaptable and that we shall rise to the challenge.
It is every lawyer’s dream to help shape the law, not just react to it. So, step forward the reformers, and the innovators, and start to reshape the system.
Christopher Digby-Bell, London W1