The Law Society has launched its meet-the-members roadshow in the full knowledge that as a professional body it will “never be deeply loved” (The Lawyer 7 June).
The aim of the public relations offensive is to give solicitors a chance to make their views known and for the society to explain its role and the services it offers.
A programme of 16 meetings is being held across the country to ensure that every member has a chance to meet the president or vice president.
The first formal link-up with the profession will be staged in January in the south west, followed by shows in the Thames Valley and South Wales.
The initiative is in response to the damning findings of a survey of high street firms. The survey painted a picture of low morale and disillusionment with the society among its members. But it also revealed that many solicitors are unaware of the services on offer.
“It is depressing to be condemned for not providing adequate services when there appears to be such widespread ignorance about what the Law Society can do,” says deputy vice president Henry Hodge.
But he adds that some members still regard the society as a purely regulatory body and that culture dictates that the society is unlikely “ever to be deeply-loved by its members”.
Hodge has been appointed as a “champion” for high street firms for two years as part of the programme of support.
Other initiatives include a review of communication with the profession after solicitors complained they felt bombarded with letters from their governing body.
The society is also looking at ways of mitigating the effects of extra pressures on the profession. Increases in the cost of practising certificates are to be limited to the rate of inflation and a study to see if the society could cost the financial impact of any new regulation.