SYLA Ethics Conference

The Foundation provided funding to The Scottish Young Lawyers’ Association (SYLA) to host a conference on ethics held over three virtual sessions in January and February 2021.

Session 1 covered the Law Society Practice Rules 2011, 15 standards of conduct, risk management, complaints and how to deal with these; Session 2 covered  solicitors in a professional and private capacity, as well as social media; and Session 3 covered solicitors’ duties to court, duties to clients (including vulnerable), and how to deal with a situation when a solicitor may be under pressure from colleagues or clients to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Speakers included Stephen McLaren, Susan Williams, Iain Sim, Antony McFadyen, Jack Boyle, Simon Allison, and Roddy Dunlop. The sessions were very well received with nearly 200 participants attending each Session. Many attendees commented that they had gained more knowledge and were less worried about complying with various aspects of ethics, since the sessions.

Attendees also commented that they would recommend the Ethics Conference to others, and strongly agreed that the event should be held annually. As a result of SYLA’s initial polls and throughout the event, it was evident that there was a substantial amount of interest in educational events based on ethics.

There is a general lack of availability of CPD events focussed on ethics and it is proposed that consideration be given to running this Conference again in order to bridge this gap and inform SYLA members of ethical standards and their duties.