A Scottish university student, who is on track to achieve her ambitions of becoming a lawyer after being awarded a Lawscot Foundation bursary, hopes more young people will be given the same opportunity by encouraging increased support.
Chloe Fraser (right), 19, who is in her second year as an undergraduate law student at the University of Edinburgh, shared her story as the Lawscot Foundation announces that corporate law firm, Dickson Minto, has renewed its Platinum sponsorship of the charity for the next four years, helping to fund academically gifted students from less advantaged backgrounds through law school.
Chloe, who grew up in Caldercruix, near Airdrie, said: “A price cannot be placed on what the bursary support has meant for me. It has allowed to me finance my degree and the costs, as well as quit my part-time job during term time, so that I can spend more time on studying, which has helped to alleviate both financial and educational stress.
“The bursary also allows students like myself from disadvantaged backgrounds to make themselves known amongst top firms, to make connections on their own merit, to participate in networking opportunities, and ultimately to build relationships. I have been able to make many connections in the legal sector, alongside having a wonderful mentor, who is also a trained solicitor.”
As part of its ongoing commitment to the Lawscot Foundation, Dickson Minto will also continue to offer invaluable career development opportunities to students.
Heather McKendrick (left), of the Lawscot Foundation, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Dickson Minto has chosen to continue its support of the Foundation and its students, particularly after such a challenging year for the profession. The Foundation currently supports 29 students. However, since the charity was established, we have received around 225 applications and this is likely to keep increasing.
“Support is therefore more vital than ever, because young people from less advantaged backgrounds have been the hardest hit by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. We are determined to help as many of these talented students as we can to fulfill their potential and go on to university. Sponsorship of the Foundation through firms like Dickson Minto will help ensure that access to a legal career is based on ability, not financial circumstances, and we very much look forward to continuing our work with them.”
Dickson Minto first became a Platinum sponsor of the Foundation in 2017, just one year after the charity was set up by the Law Society of Scotland to help remove the financial barriers between gifted students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and their access to the legal profession.
Lindsay Fraser (right), Head of Graduate Recruitment at Dickson Minto, said: “Chloe’s remarkable drive and achievements reinforce the vital work of the Lawscot Foundation. While no one like Chloe should face slipping through the net, it’s sadly a reality. Therefore, it’s crucial that the legal sector continues to support these initiatives to help break down the barriers and ensure academically gifted students from all backgrounds are given the opportunity of a successful career as a lawyer.”
One of three siblings brought up in a lone-parent family, financial burdens meant Chloe’s family couldn’t afford to fund university studies.
She said: “While I was growing up, I was always adamant that I wanted to study law. However, I was constantly reminded by people that this was an unrealistic prospect for someone from my background. I was certain though that law was the route that I wanted to take.
“My advice to anyone out there who is doubtful in pursuing a legal career is that nothing is ever too far out of your reach; believe in yourself to strive for the best and that is what you will achieve.”
Applications to the Lawscot Foundation are currently open for 2021. Find out more information and apply here. The deadline to apply is Friday, 11 June 2021.