The Lawscot Foundation today celebrates five years of supporting gifted students from less advantaged backgrounds to pursue a career in law.
The Foundation was launched on 11 May 2016 by the Law Society of Scotland to aid fair access to the legal profession by providing practical help and support to academically talented students throughout their legal education. In the five years since its inception, the charity has handed out more than £200,000 in student bursaries and provided unique mentoring and networking opportunities to 29 students.
Heather McKendrick, of the Lawscot Foundation, said: “Our mission has always been simple – to help pupils with the talent and desire to be the lawyers of the future, but lack the finances to do so, to achieve their dream.
“We’re incredibly proud of what we have achieved in the five years since we launched and are privileged to support the students that we do. They have all overcome huge, personal challenges - ranging from being in care to homelessness - to get into law school and pursue a legal career, and we are delighted that we can be there to support them. We’re really excited to have our first students graduating this year - a big milestone for them and for us!
“All of this has only been possible through the support that the legal profession has shown our small charity. We are entirely funded through our corporate sponsorships and donations from individuals, so every penny donated makes a real difference and goes directly to our students.”
Heather added: “Over the next five years, we want to increase our fundraising so that we can have an even greater impact. Of all the applications that we have received for our bursary since our launch, we have been able to support 10%. Yet, there are so many incredible pupils out there who deserve our help. We need the continued backing of the profession to do so, not only so that we can provide more bursaries, but broaden our mentoring programme, offer work experience and internship opportunities and, ultimately, make the playing field as level as we can.
“Here’s to the next five years and a diverse, talented next generation of lawyers.”
Applications to the Lawscot Foundation are currently open for prospective LLB students starting in the coming academic year. The deadline to apply is Friday, 11 June. Find out more here.
The Lawscot Foundation in numbers
- 29 students are currently supported by the Foundation
- 7 of our students will graduate from the LLB this year
- 8 of our students act / have acted as young carers
- 16 live in the most deprived area postcodes in Scotland
- 8 spent time in care / homeless shelter
- 14 attended low progression schools
- 12 firms / organisations sponsor us, representing 65% of our total income
- Our sponsors are: Pinsent Masons (the Kirk Murdoch Scholarship), the Royal Bank of Scotland (NatWest), Dickson Minto, the Faculty of Advocates, Shepherd & Wedderburn, Brodies, Turcan Connell, Lockton, Burness Paull, BP, the Scottish Council of Law Reporting, and CMS UK.
- £200,000 in bursaries have been handed out to students in the past five years
- £10 – if every Scottish solicitor donated just £10 a year to the Foundation, we could support 40 more students each year
- 100% of any donation goes straight to providing grants to our students.