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Society launches new study into barriers facing aspiring solicitors

26 April 2013 | tagged News release

A new study that looks into the barriers facing those wishing to become solicitors is to be undertaken by the Law Society of Scotland.

The new study has been prompted by the Campaign for Fair Access to the Legal Profession (CFALP) which has campaigned against policies which prevent students from disadvantaged backgrounds from entering the legal profession.

The Society's study will look at the current route to qualification as well as other areas and consider what barriers exist. The review will be overseen by the Society's Education and Training Committee and is expected to be completed in the autumn. A formal request for views will be issued in the coming weeks.

During its meeting today, the Law Society Council repeated its commitment to fair access and pledged to embed the principle in all its strategic planning and relevant decision making.

The Council also agreed to continue to press the Scottish Government for improved funding arrangements for students studying the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice. This follows changes last year which saw grants for 300 Diploma students replaced by a system of loans open to all Diploma students.

President of the Law Society, Austin Lafferty, said: "A successful legal profession must be a diverse legal profession, made up of all people from all backgrounds. It is an issue which the Society takes seriously and the Campaign for Fair Access is to be congratulated for ensuring it remains firmly on our agenda.

"The important task is to properly understand what barriers exist, where they lie and what impact they really have. The members of our Education and Training Committee, supported by our staff, will look closely and thoroughly at those issues and come back with a report that will allow us to decide on the most effective way forward. I know they plan to work closely with the Campaign for Fair Access, the Scottish Young Lawyers' Association, the Trainee and Newly Qualified Society and others in terms of gathering evidence."


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Journalists can contact Julia Brown on 0131 476 8204 or Kevin Lang on 0131 476 8167 . For the out of hours service please call 0131 226 7411.

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26 April 2013

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