The Lawscot Foundation has celbrated its ongoing success in supporting aspiring Scottish solicitors from less-advantaged backgrounds, with a fundraising event in central Edinburgh.
Around 60 people – including mentors, donors and corporate sponsors – attended the reception held to thank them for their support on the evening of 24 October at Parliament Hall.
Lawscot Foundation Chair Christine McLintock highlighted the progress that has been made since the charity was established in 2016, including the 36 students currently receiving bursary grants and other support.
A total of 55 students have received assistance from the Lawscot Foundation since its establishment, with a number now progressing to solicitor traineeships or pursuing postgraduate degrees.
Lord Ericht, a Senator of the College of Justice who is also a Trustee, addressed the event: “It is the tradition of this hall and the tradition of the Scottish legal profession that I want to talk to you about today, because there is a long history of welcoming talent from less-advantaged backgrounds. Social mobility is built in with the bricks.
“The Foundation is about more than just giving grants. Successful applicants are put in touch with a mentor to give them help and support. The scholars get the chance to meet their future self. I think that is really important.”
Paul Cook – a former bursary recipient who recently commenced his traineeship and became a Lawscot Foundation Trustee – shared his own story.
Mr Cook told the event: “Until I met my Lawscot Foundation mentor, Tim Haddow, I had never met a lawyer in my life. I was brought up in a council scheme, my mother brought me up as a single parent.
“That is why I am so grateful and feel so privileged to have received the support of the Foundation throughout my legal education. Without their financial support and the support and guidance of my mentor Tim, I do not think I could have become a lawyer.”
Some of the young people we help have faced unimaginable challenges at such a young age – being in care; being a carer for their parents or siblings; being made homeless; poverty. Yet they have worked hard and got into university as a result of their own hard work and dedication.