Law Society’s Gazette, 3 May 1972

Better off on supplementary benefits? (Letter to the editor)

There seems to be a residual tradition in the profession that prospective solicitors have affluent middle-class parents who are prepared to make up the shortfall between their child’s earnings and his financial needs.

There are no statistics showing how many articled clerks live in their parents’ homes; undoubtedly this is a widespread practice and consequently there is a subsidy in the form of board and lodging. Many future solicitors are therefore discouraged from entering the profession, not only by the low wages, but also by the necessity to accept handouts from parents who may not be able to afford them.

There are however various state benefits which many prospective solicitors could claim. (But) as a matter of principle, prospective solicitors collectively should be asking for wages above the Department of Health and Social Services poverty line and not doing so is tantamount to approving the situation.

Anne Robertson, Associate Members Group

A year in retrospect

As a solicitor in private practice, I used to think of the Law Society as a distant organisation, little interested in me and not at all concerned with my problems. When in practice, I spent very little time thinking about my public image, and it never occurred to me to consider the profession’s image at all. (However), since 5 April 1971 I have been responsible for professional relations.

In a year I have learned, among other things:It is our professional skill to analyse, to criticise, and to amend. Therefore I am not surprised by criticism, of which I receive a lot; but I am encouraged by enthusiasm and support, which, thank goodness, the profession is offering to our public relations campaign.

  • that the profession is not aware of what The Law Society is doing.
  • that visits to local Law Societies by the Society’s staff, and by council members, are worthwhile.
  • but that many, many solicitors are not involved with or interested in their own local Law Society.
  • that there are elements in the press (national, not local) and television who have decided to denigrate solicitors whenever they can.
  • that neither I nor the Law Society can control these elements.
  • but that the great majority of people respect our profession even though they do not understand us.

Gerald Sanctuary, secretary, Professional and Public Relations

Law Society’s Gazette, 17 May 1972

The Law Society and women (Letter to the editor)

It is clear from a letter which I have recently received from the Law Society that ‘Women’s Lib’ has not yet infiltrated very far into its domain.

The secretary-general, in writing to congratulate me on my admission, begins ‘Dear Sir’ - not even a Dear Sir or Madam. I suppose the secretary-general can plead the Interpretation Act 1889 in defence but I regret having to report, madam, yet another case of de feminis non curat lex.

Diane Brodkin, London N2