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Radio gaga

Marilyn Stowe offers her hard-won survival guide for going on air

21 March 2011

What is it about broadcasting that leaves so many solicitors stricken by fear? I have seen some of the most poised and charismatic of our peers mumble, bumble and tug uncomfortably at their collars whenever a camera lens is trained upon them. I have heard the bravest and bolshiest of lawyers reduced to stammering wrecks by the gentlest of questions.

There are, I think, a number of reasons why cameras and microphones produce such striking effects. Until 1990, solicitors were forbidden from publicising their practices and activities in the media. Our ranks may include some of the sharpest minds, but perhaps we have been playing catch up when it comes to media skills.

Solicitors who appear in the media are also acutely aware that they are representing not just their firms, but also the profession. If you make a mistake live on air, you risk ridicule and, in a worst-case scenario, bringing the profession into disrepute.

I remember the first time I was invited to appea...

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