New charity set to help legal dreams come true for Scottish students
Academically gifted students from less advantaged backgrounds can now apply for potentially life-changing funding to pursue their dreams of a legal career.
The Lawscot Foundation is offering prospective law students in Scotland who meet the criteria, funding of around £2,500 for each of the five years of study at undergraduate and postgraduate diploma level. In addition to financial support, bursary recipients will also be mentored by trainee and experienced solicitors throughout their studies.
The Lawscot Foundation is a charity established following a review of fair access to the legal profession by the Law Society of Scotland in 2014. The charity seeks to assist talented young people overcome financial constraints to pursue a career in law.
Liz Campbell, Executive Director of Education, Training and Qualifications at the Law Society of Scotland said: “We have a responsibility to promote diversity in the legal profession not only as an employer but as the professional body for Scottish solicitors and to the profession as a whole. 2014 research revealed that fewer than one in 12 entrants to the LLB came from the most deprived backgrounds – a situation which we saw as unacceptable. The Lawscot Foundation is one mechanism by which we can work to redress the balance in terms of fair access to the profession.”
The Lawscot Foundation was established in May 2016 and the last eight months have seen some incredible fundraising results, including a Law Society Council decision which gave the go ahead on a quarter of a million pound donation*.
Liz Campbell added: “Raising enough funds to allow us to begin supporting students has been our initial focus and we are delighted to begin accepting applications.”
Trainee and experienced solicitors have also signed up to offer valuable mentoring support to Lawscot Foundation bursary recipients.
Kevin Timlin, a trainee solicitor at Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, who has volunteered to be part of the mentoring programme said: “I remember what it was like to be an undergraduate – it was a challenging but hugely rewarding time. The Lawscot Foundation is a fantastic programme which will enable talented students to fulfil their potential. I am keen to get involved where I can and support students who might otherwise struggle.”
Eligible students must have an offer to study an LLB degree starting in 2017 at an accredited Scottish university, have financial circumstances which might prevent them attending university and be currently at school or have left within the last two years.
Students who think they may be eligible should visit the Lawscot Foundation website for further information and details of how to apply.