Law Society issues warning on offensive comments about female trainees

Solicitors’ body blocking use of some phone apps on premises after ‘deep distress’ caused

The Law Society has started blocking the use of some messaging apps on its premises after offensive comments were made about female trainee solicitors. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

The Law Society has started blocking the use of some messaging apps on its premises after offensive comments were made about female trainee solicitors. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

 

The Law Society has started blocking the use of some messaging apps on its premises after offensive comments were made about female trainee solicitors.

The remarks were circulated within a messaging group entitled ‘tits and filth’ and have prompted a warning notice being sent out by the society to those undergoing training.

TP Kennedy, director of education at the Law Society, which is based on Blackhall Place in Dublin, said in the notice that several people had brought the messages to the attention of the society and that the content had given rise to “profound ethical concerns”.

He added that the nature of the messages had caused “deep distress” to many students and that the behaviour would not be tolerated.

Mr Kennedy said those who had sent offensives messages may be “unfit” to qualify as solicitors and that all trainees must comply with and were subject to the same rules as solicitors.

He said posting “inappropriate content” may be deemed to have brought the profession into disrepute and could have implications for the futures of those trainees involved.

Additional training

He said some messaging apps were being blocked immediately as a result of the controversy. Furthermore, he said appropriate additional training would be given on the course due to the emergence of the messages.

In response to queries, the Law Society said action would be taken against anyone found guilty of the allegations.

“The Law Society is appalled to learn that inappropriate comments may have been posted on a private messaging group by a small group of students,” it said in a statement.

“The Law Society has taken immediate action to thoroughly investigate the circumstances and seek to establish all the facts.

“We have taken immediate action by reminding students of their responsibilities and ethical obligations.

“The Law School’s counselling service is providing additional supports and services to students in light of this incident. In addition, we have suspended access to private messaging groups in the Law School. ”