Amidst the changing landscape that IS the current legal profession the Diploma students at Glasgow face many challenges ahead of them.
Not everyone has a traineeship yet.The morale on the course fluctuates from day-to-day with huge highs and very dark lows.
For the students (like me) who have traineeships these last few weeks of the Diploma are focussed on the finishing line with the reality of beginning life as a solicitor or in my case ( Advocate to be).
Alas that finishing line is tainted for some. Huge debts and prospects of no job or career are a reality. What surprises me is the low moral (not coming from the students) but from within the legal profession itself.
As an aspiring lawyer and the future generation of the legal professionals look stary eyed to respected legal ‘gurus’ one expects encouragement.
One hopes for motivation and promise that when we join the profession and a sign that there will still actually be one for us to join.
Nelson Mandella wrote in his book ‘ A Long journey home’ of his trials and fights in studying law and opening his first law practice Mandela and Tambo Attorneys in 1952 in Johannesburg.
The challenges were real. The fight was hard but he held something strong and focussed in his mind the fight for ‘justice freedom, goodness and love’
As the legal profession morphs into something very different before our very eyes and lawyers squabble amongst themselves with Tales of doom and gloom, of cuts to legal aid and changes to business and negativity resonate around the profession as a whole. Is this helping anyone ?
As the profession squabble and bury their heads in the sand I urge the next generation of lawyers to ‘watch carefully’ as the changes occur.
Think ahead and adapt .Learn from first year at University about ‘change’.The change is coming.
The profession does not ‘belong’ to the current lawyers the ‘law ‘ belongs to everyone.
Who’s justice is it anyway?Who’s law is it and who’s profession is it ?
If anyone on the Diploma or at any other University is disheartened by the ‘tales of woe’ lack of jobs, changes which will mean the end of lawyers then I say remember the mess today will be ours to clean up in a few years time.
As a future lawyer I have a message for the current legal profession -‘ embrace change and make the profession ready for the next generation. And help us , please.
I first read Nelson Mandellas ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ in 1995 and today as I am on the cusp of entering the legal profession myself – I removed the book from my bookcase and read.
“I realized quickly what ‘Mandela and Tambo’ meant to ordinary Africans.It was a place where they could come to find a sympathetic ear and a competent ally, a place where they would actually feel proud to be represented by men of their own skin colour.This was the reason I had become a lawyer in the first place, and my work often made me feel I had made the right decision’ Nelson Mandella p173 (Long Walk to Freedom)
I am inspired by this wonderful mans words and hope that one day I can be that kind of lawyer and say that I made the right decision too.
Michelle L. Hynes LL.B(hons)