Excelling in education

An inspirational and compelling candid speaker, the best I have heard.
— Conference delegate

The education and training of lawyers has been central to the activities of the Society of Writers to HM Signet for over 200 years. Amongst the Society’s archives you will quickly find attendance records and lecture notes from legal apprentices dating back as early as 1793, when Robert Bell WS began his celebrated series of lectures in conveyancing.

Today, the WS Society provides a leading professional development programme for Scottish lawyers and law students. Over 1,000 delegates participate each year in our conferences and courses.

The ethos of the modern programme is to combine technical learning with the opportunity to interact and exchange with other professionals. Conferences and courses have a practical focus and are delivered by experts from the UK and abroad. We collaborate with other professional institutions to tap into the leading speakers, providing excellent legal education at every stage of the career path.

Our current programme Elements of the Law provides opportunities for Writers to the Signet and guest speakers to share knowledge and expertise. Education at the WS Society is distinguished by the Society bringing together delegates and speakers from the wider community encompassing business, industry, academia and public life. The programme has evolved beyond legal training to include events with appeal to the general public. The current and former Presidents of the UK Supreme Court have recently delivered lectures at the Signet Library on devolution and the rule of law in the function of a democratic society.

The upper library is an inspiring auditorium for such events, comfortably seating up to 300 people. New Enlightenment will extend the programme to new audiences. We envisage lectures, talks and symposia being delivered from the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town World Heritage Site to both local and global audiences. Technology will facilitate live streaming online.

Our current courses are accredited and qualify as Continuing Professional Development and Trainee CPD under the Law Society of Scotland’s regime for Scottish solicitors. WS education events are open to all. Some events are free to attend. Where delegate fees are charged, they are proportionate and subsidised places are made available.