Student competition winner 2018

Eve MacKinnon, a third year law student at Edinburgh University, has won a three week paid work placement with the Solicitor's Office at the Scottish Parliament and a £500 cash prize for her winning entry in our student competition.

Run jointly by the Law Society of Scotland and the Scottish Parliament, the competition asked students to consider 'the role played by committees of the Scottish Parliament in the legislative process and how young people can engage with those committees', and present their response in a way that Scotland’s youngest voters would engage with.

Eve, who is currently studying at the University of Copenhagen as part of an exchange programme, chose to answer the question in a short, comprehensive video. She  will screen her winning entry at the Law Society of Scotland when she returns to Scotland in June.

In the meantime, we talked with Eve about her success.
How did you find out about the competition and what made you enter?

I heard about the competition through my Public Law lecturer at university. Doing work experience at the Scottish Parliament was particularly attractive to me as it is a unique opportunity to see and understand the interplay between law and politics in Scotland.

What made you decide to rise to the challenge of making a video rather than writing a blog?

Making a video appealed to me because it provides a platform that anyone can engage with. At times getting past the legal jargon can be half the battle so I decided that a video would be the best way to explain things clearly. Also, it gave me the chance to be a bit more creative in my application and try something new!

Did you come across anything that surprised you when you were researching the role of committees in the legislative process and how young people can engage with them?

I think what really surprised me was how accessible it is. I had a fairly good idea of the functioning of the Parliament’s committee system but I didn’t anticipate quite how straightforward it is for people of all ages to engage with and contribute to.

What are you most looking forward to experiencing while working at the parliament?

I am very excited to work with the Parliament’s legal team and look forward to engaging with a variety of topical issues. Having been the subject of my research for the competition, it would be interesting to attend a committee meeting to witness the operation of the committee system in practice.

What made you study law, what drives you to qualify as a solicitor and what do you most enjoy about being a law student?

I chose to study law as it touches every part of society and has the capacity to help people irrespective of social background. Access to equal opportunities is something I am very passionate about and hope to promote in years to come. Studying law has been an exciting (if somewhat hectic) experience, a highlight being my exchange programme at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Law was appealing to me owing to the diverse opportunities the profession can offer. Whilst studying abroad this year I have focused predominantly on public international law so pursuing a career in this field is an exciting prospect for me. In the meantime, I look forward to returning to Edinburgh for my final year and completing the Diploma thereafter.

"The quality and content of Eve’s video was excellent. We are delighted by her success and very much looking forward to congratulating her in person when she gets back to Scotland."

Heather McKendrick, the Law Society’s Head of Careers and Outreach

Scottish parliament viewed across a pond

"I thoroughly enjoyed being involved in judging the Law Society competition this year. Eve's entry was fantastic - she met all of the criteria and her enthusiasm was shown clearly throughout her video. I look forward to meeting her when she joins the office for her placement."

Claire Kearney, Modern Apprentice, Office of the Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament

"We were very impressed with Eve's creative and engaging video, which met each of the criteria very well. Her use of the Parliament as the setting for the video and the Parliament's website for her example of the Child Poverty Bill was particularly impressive. We look forward to having her at the Parliament for her placement."

Stephen Wright, Solicitor, Office of the Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament

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