The Law Society must go further than help solicitors meet basic ‘competence’ requirements, providing services to help members develop and progress their careers, Society president Robert Bourns told the annual Law Management Section conference last month.

The ‘additional skills’ needed in a ‘challenging environment’ should include training on skills and knowledge that allow more solicitors to take ‘opportunities to progress’ in management positions, to move in-house, or to join the judiciary, Bourns said. ‘We are doing a significant piece of work on this,’ he revealed.

The solicitor ‘brand’ is strong, he added, citing the ‘trust’ in solicitors identified by the Competition and Markets Authority, the association with ‘quality and high standards’ found in Legal Services Board research and the ‘confidence’ the Solicitors Regulation Authority said is inspired by the solicitor title.

In facing new challenges, Bourns urged, solicitors ‘should have the absolute confidence that we can provide value in ensuring access to justice and the resolution of clients’ problems’.

Chancery Lane’s campaign to raise the profile and value of the solicitor ‘brand’ had included adverts in 180 train stations, used by 30m people, and a social media campaign that had 20,000 ‘engagements’.

Supporting solicitors: Law Management Section

The Law Society’s Law Management Section provides solicitors with support, advice and networking opportunities, and facilitates the sharing of best practice with peers.

The current Section Engagement Programme has been created in consultation with the Section Committee and will focus on key issues, including:

  • Practice management
  • Talent management
  • Financial management
  • Staffing models
  • IT
  • Client focus
  • Cyber security

These issues are addressed through a range of activities, including: webinars, magazines, regional forums, seminars, a conference, website, e-newsletters and a LinkedIn group. 

Go to for more details.