Dealing with the title points above in reverse order the 'Old Debates' arose from an after work supper in Central London on Friday, with a good friend who is learned counsel and a young colleague from the office.
Naturally enough our conversations started with analyses of the law and legal professions as they now appear to be in England, compared with what they were when I started out and where the two parts of the legal profession may be heading for in the years to come.
Certainly experiences of 40 years ago in the legal profession, when newly qualified lawyers might one day attend an hearing in a mental institution in the North to deal with an application for release by an individual detained during Her Majesty's pleasure (lifetime) for killing a crew member on the high seas or travel on another day, say a Saturday morning, in what used to be called a Black Maria through seething crowds to act for a perceived villain followed by say conveyancing a small bungalow, have long since gone.
On the other hand today's lawyers tend to be experts in very narrow fields. The first sight advantage of this for clients is of course clear but the disadvantage for the lawyer is the risk of his or her scope and imagination regarding professional work, becoming very and in my humble opinion often too concentrated.
I wonder whether on reflection, the client's best interests are always served by having a narrow specialist rather than a lawyer with a broader perspective. Society too may lose out because narrow specialist lawyers in my humble opinion tend to over complicate the legal position in question.
Then the conversation turned to the practical difficulties like the diminution of some work for lawyers. If one's specialty suddenly becomes less relevant rather like telephone boxes say following the widespread use now of mobile 'phones, the over specialised lawyer may be at risk of being left on the shelf.
The conversation then moved on to Travel. The young (married woman) colleague talked of her recent fantastic travels to India. Older counsel and I queried whether travelling afar for its own sake rather than travel with a purpose in mind other than or in addition to, sight seeing was really worthwhile. Perhaps the older one becomes the less attractive flying to far away places simply to sight-see, becomes. However both learned counsel and I also queried the safety of women in India having regard to the recent multiple rape and murder of the young prospective woman doctor very recently reported.
I recalled too maytrees ma. when a comparatively young girl who had traveled to India with a girlfriend telephoning me in almost terror, when after her friend had had to be air lifted home following an accident, maytrees ma. found herself being virtually stalked by men in Mumbai but fortunately we were then able to get an early flight back to the UK for her. Of course I have blogged earlier about my own student travels and the huge learning experiences they were and I suppose traveling at whatever age will always involve some risks.
But New and Older Lives, are far more important than these debates and Monday this week was not only my mother's 97th birthday but was also the day that maytrees ma. gave birth to Emma Rose who at 6lbs 7 ozs. is the first grandchild to mrs maytrees and I.
Having visited mother father and baby at their home a couple of days back, seeing and holding the tiny new life was truly wonderful.
Life goes on.