The huge lack of interest by solicitors in the annual Law Society conference is in marked contrast to the success of the Bar's annual conference.
The Bar, although helped by the size of its venue, had one of its best attendances ever. The Law Society, on the other hand, can only find around 1,000 attendees, many of whom are Law Society officials.
The Law Society is, of course, hampered by the long distances that many of its members have to travel to get to the conference, as well as by the diversity of interests which make up its church.
However, a more interesting programme might help. The majority of the sessions are mediocre, and some are quite simply irrelevant. The agenda does not even pretend to aim to attract a City audience and, as for the interests of high street practitioners, the session on solicitors' property centres was only added as an afterthought.
While Lord Irvine's keynote speech will attract major press attention, the onus is on the Law Society to provide a balanced and informative programme for the whole profession.