A new video featuring one of the first Scottish law students to be awarded Lawscot Foundation funding and mentoring support has been launched by the Law Sociey of Scotland.
Eight students, who all started law degrees at Scottish universities in 2017, are the first to have received financial and mentoring support from the charity, which was set up in 2016 to help academically talented students from less advantaged backgrounds through their legal education.
In the video Darren, who was a young carer for his three siblings and is now a law student at the University of Aberdeen, tells his story about wanting to become a lawyer. He said: "I want to become a lawyer to help people in the same way that a lawyer helped my family after my parents separated. Going through the courts was very intimidating, but the lawyer was a hero to me. Now I’m at university the Lawscot Foundation bursary has helped take some of the pressure off financially and having the support of my mentor, who is a practising solicitor, has been great. When I first met him I was pretty stressed about my exams, but he gave me some good advice and was really helpful."
As well as financila support, the Foundation provides mentoring throughout the student's studies from an experienced Scottish solicitor to help enhance their confidence, skills and knowledge.
Heather McKendrick, Head of Careers and Outreach at the Law Society of Scotland, commented: "It really is a privilege to be able to help this first group of talented young people. Some of them have faced huge challenges at a young age – from being in care or, as in Darren’s case, being a carer themselves. Rather than being overcome by such challenges, they have been motivated to pursue a career in the law and want to make positive contributions to society in the future. I have no doubt that the legal profession will be all the richer for having such an inspiring group of people as part of it."
The Society aims to be able to support eight students every year through their undergraduate degree and Diploma in Professional Legal Practice, which will mean 40 at any given time once the scheme is in its fifth year.