The Lawscot Foundation has been boosted by more than £5,000 donated by guests attending the Law Society of Scotland President’s Dinner.
A who’s who of Scotland’s legal sector attended the black-tie event co-hosted by Law Society President Ken Dalling and Past President Amanda Millar, after last year’s edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cash donations and pledges worth just over £5,000 were made by the 200 guests who attended in the spectacular surrounds of Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on Friday, 6 May 2022.
Further donations can be made on the Lawscot Foundation website.
Ken Dalling used his speech to commend the legal profession’s resilience during the pandemic.
He said: "No matter the challenges presented by the first and subsequent lockdowns – between them and after them – the steps taken by the profession have been nothing short of remarkable.
"The same can be said for so many, and of course health workers have been on the front line, but solicitors – at the centre of life, liberty and commerce – also stand apart.
"You all have gone above and beyond again and again to ensure that civic life, private life, politics, government and the courts continued to function."
Mr Dalling also acknowledged the particular difficulties faced by solicitors in the early stages of their careers: "New solicitors are the lifeblood of the profession, and we all have a duty to support them and help them develop.
"There is even more need for the senior end of the profession to ensure that the pandemic does not leave a damaging legacy for those in the very earliest stages of their legal careers. They have done so well progressing through university and traineeships in adverse circumstances. We really owe it to them to have them share the ‘legal life’ to the fullest extent."
Past President Amanda Millar spoke movingly about her progression into the legal profession and the continued necessity to ensure diversity in a modern, dynamic profession.
In her speech she said: "Regardless of your life experience there is value in all of your experience and the contribution it can bring to a profession that plays a fundamental role in civil society.
"Over recent years I have heard eminent legal professionals say we don't need diversity in the profession because we can be taught about diversity. That is a view generally espoused by those unaware of or unaffected by the challenges of wider society or of being marginalised.
"It is a thought process that is thankfully changing, as it’s never been more needed for young people to see that there is a route so somebody like them could be successful. I am delighted that this evening’s guest list is more diverse than it has arguably ever been.
"Variety of background and equity of opportunity is important to the legal profession to ensure that it reflects the society that it serves."
Since its launch in 2016, the Lawscot Foundation has helped dozens of students from less-advantaged backgrounds study law.
The foundation is currently supporting 37 students and hopes to support a further eight students this year – applications for this year’s round of funding are open until Friday, 10 June 2022.