Fair access programme to be taken forward
A wide-ranging action plan aimed at making the route to qualification as a solicitor as fair as possible has been approved by the Law Society of Scotland's Council today (Friday 31 January).
The action plan, which spans two years, is based on the 21 recommendations of the Fair Access to the Legal Profession report. The recommendations include: the launch of a Street Law project in schools to help raise pupils' aspirations; a focus on making access to legal internships fairer; and a re-evaluation of the alternative route to qualification to ensure it meets the needs of legal employers and those wishing to access the profession.
The report is the culmination of six months of research into all elements of the route to qualification as a solicitor from schools careers advice to qualification into the solicitor profession and beyond.
The Society has worked closely with the Campaign for Fair Access to the Legal Profession, the Scottish Young Lawyers' Association, and the Trainee and Newly Qualified Society amongst other organisations throughout this process. Additional resources will be recruited by the Society to implement the plan.
Bruce Beveridge, President of the Law Society of Scotland, said: "This is an important issue for the profession today and for the future. It is vital that the profession is open to as wide variety of people as possible and that we maintain excellent standards in education and training. We are committed to examining all aspects of the route to becoming a solicitor, and ensuring that where there are barriers, these are challenged, working with government and others as necessary."
The full report can be viewed on the Law Society's website.
ENDS 31 JANUARY 2014
Notes to editors:
The most common way to become a solicitor is to study an LLB and Diploma in Professional Legal Practice, followed by a two-year traineeship. The alternative is to study Law Society of Scotland exams whilst working in a specified legal environment followed by the Diploma and traineeship.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Suzy Powell on 0131 476 8115
31 January 2014