Although the calendar year is getting old, the LCCSA year is brand new: we welcome our new president, Akhtar Ahmad, and all the new additions to the LCCSA committee for 2012-2013.
As Akhtar says on page 5, he is confident in the support, not only of the new members of the team, but also of past presidents and experienced members on the committee. This strong blend of old and new is reflected in this issue: both Michael Burdett and Pam Martin remind readers of the good (and bad!) old days of acting as a solicitor in the police stations and the courts, while Lettie Smythers expresses youthful enthusiasm for the enjoyable European conference - which, in balmy Malaga, was a particularly successful event this year.
And the LCCSA, as a whole, moves into its new year embracing the new while relying on the strength of the old: our training programme will soon include a series of webinars, using the latest technology to allow senior authorities such as Colin Wells and Ed Cape to deliver lectures to members (and, for a fee, others!) via their laptops or iPads.
Sadly, we do not see the same positive attitude in some of our legal colleagues: the entrenched attitudes revealed in the Bar's response to the latest round of consultation on the quality assurance scheme for advocates (QASA) have depressed us all - and find a hard-hitting response in this issue from our stalwart columnist, Bruce Reid.
And, very occasionally, the association is on the receiving end of negativity from members, who, if they were to read the whole of the Advocate (not just the editorial and Bruce's column!), would learn of the enormous amount of work - campaigns, training, responses to government - carried out by your committee, past and present.
Honouring those who have given this kind of service, this year, the association has bestowed honorary life membership on Greg Powell, Jeffrey Gordon and Frankie Goodman, all of whom have made quite remarkable contributions to the LCCSA and the profession as a whole. There will be further tributes to them in our January issue. For now, they serve as inspiring examples for our new president and his committee. We wish Akhtar well in his presidential year.