Guide to Good Practice by The Law Society
Review by Alv Grasun
Truly living up to its name, this book encompasses all the elements necessary to make it a useful tool to navigate the professional legal world.
At a glance, it consists of twelve chapters which explore the most pervasive elements of both academia and practice. The legal academic material is divided into different areas; for the purpose of understanding and for practical application. The appeal of this guide is that it encompasses all areas within its covers, meaning both solicitors and barristers can refer to it for a substantial basis to their particular issue and then build on that initial knowledge.
Upon reading the first chapter, my immediate thought was how useful this would have been during the years I spent in University and throughout the Legal Practice Course. It has always been hammered into law students that there is a need applying academic knowledge in order to gain marks; however, more often than not we are offered the knowledge and left to wonder how to best apply it.This is where the guide makes everything so clear, structured and comprehensible, that you begin to wonder how your reading list doesn’t already include something like this.
To sing further praises, at the beginning of each chapter this guide provides a glossary as well as relevant definitions, each with all the necessary legislation attached. Further to this it then sets out the applicability of each sector to either the barrister or solicitor and their respective region of Practice. It is so straightforward to connect the information and make a mental map as to what would be necessary in terms of a case. Not only does it guide one through the common law, but is almost always followed by the EU Directive which would be applicable. In tackling the most common issues about each topic and highlighting the obligation of each professional, it provides very useful insights. One might construe this as the groundwork for legal issues.
Following from that, it progresses easily into the next steps to be taken, by outlining the analysis needed, the consideration of potential risk and ensures a client centred outlook. As a true testimony to its ‘one step ahead’ approach, it even lists the potential types of clients whilst providing the adjacent mitigation factors; so that the most effective steps are taken accordingly. Ethically, this guide provides information for you to keep in order as a professional and in relation to clients by listing the actions to be employed, their importance, and repercussions if one were to detract from them.
Overall, I do recommend this guide. It provides all the necessary information for a strong basis that would otherwise have to be collected from multiple materials. It is clear and succinct, making it an almost step by step guide. Of course, we are all familiar with the necessity for more in-depth research to ensure success, along with the importance of precedents which are scarce. Would this be the only tool necessary for a professional to succeed? Certainly not. Would this constitute a solid starting point? Absolutely.