Scottish Parliament to debate fair access to the legal profession

From Scottish Parliament website. SPCB Open Licence.

A members’ motion on fair access to the legal profession will be debated by the Scottish Parliament at 12.30pm on Thursday 20 September. The motion was lodged by Sarah Boyack MSP and has already attracted the support of 25 MSPs from all parties. The full text of the motion is reproduced below.

Update: 6 Sep – Now up to 26 supporters!  You can check out the motion online and see who’s added their support on the Scottish Parliament website.

Our thanks to those MSPs who’ve supported the motion so far!

Do you want to be there?

We had a  limited number of advance tickets available for the debate.  There are all now allocated.  However, from 7 days before, you can book tickets via the Scottish Parliament website (link here, select ‘members’ business’ session).

  Please consider if you can come along and support us – as well as meet fellow students supporting the campaign (we’re assembling at 11.45am to get through security in good time).

Can you help us lobby MSPs?

Nearly 60 people have so far signed up to help lobby MSPs by writing to their local MSPs. If you want to join them, please sign-up via http://urlin.it/344b3.

Fair Access to the Legal Profession

Motion S4M-03569: Sarah Boyack, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/07/2012

That the Parliament considers that the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice is an essential requirement for students embarking on a career in the legal field; is concerned that there is an access issue for students on low incomes due to the lack of loans to cover maintenance costs; understands that this restricts all applicants studying for the diploma, irrespective of financial vulnerability and need; understands that the Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan, to be introduced for 2012-13, covers the cost of tuition for up to a maximum of only £3,400, despite course fees being considerably higher; considers the Professional and Career Development Loan to be an unsuitable alternative source of funding for many low-income students due to interest levels and restrictive repayment conditions, and believes that these measures limit the career path for many students in Lothian and across the rest of the country and do not widen access to the legal profession.

Supported by: Jenny Marra, Iain Gray, Patricia Ferguson, Anne McTaggart, James Kelly, Rhoda Grant, Neil Findlay, Mary Fee, Jackie Baillie, Drew Smith, Richard Simpson, Margaret McDougall, Tavish Scott, Margaret McCulloch, Patrick Harvie, John Park, Elaine Smith, Graeme Pearson, John Pentland, Alison Johnstone, Mark Griffin, Elaine Murray, Mike MacKenzie, Liam McArthur.

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