Cleaning up the profession

Reading the front page of last week's The Lawyer, with what may be seen as five negative stories on one page – including headlines with words such as "fiasco", "conman", and reports of magistrates being forced to admit membership of the freemasons, as well as a barrister facing a disciplinary hearing – lawyers may be feeling rather insecure and worried about the state of their profession.

Given your readership, perhaps we can brush these off as isolated incidents, inevitable in a profession which is allowed to regulate itself. But anyone who then watched the BBC2 programme The Verdict with its reports on law firms' use of "uplift" – albeit with exceptions – and a stout defence by Tony Girling, the president of the Law Society, may well have cause for concern. Perhaps the proposed marketing campaign is now a necessity, but the legal profession should realise that its image cannot be sold as whiter-than-white without some major cleaning up.

Name and address withheld.