Law Society President among confirmed attendees at Fair Access event

The President of the Law Society of Scotland, Mr Austin Lafferty, will be among those joining law students and recent graduates at the Fair Access to the Legal Profession: Questions of Justice and Education event, sponsored by Marco Biagi MSP, at the Scottish Parliament next Tuesday.

The Law Society of Scotland’s presence will also be bolstered by the attendance of Christine McLintock, Chair of the Law Society of Scotland Council’s Education and Training committee and Liz Campbell, Director of Education and Training.

Speaking in advance of the event, CFALP Campaign Coordinator, Tim Haddow, said:

The profession itself has an important role to play in this debate, so we are delighted to welcome Mr Lafferty and his colleagues to join with us and ordinary law students and graduates to discuss the issues with our parliamentarians.

In the recent parliamentary debate, MSPs called on the government and the profession to work together.  We hope this event will represent the start of a process bringing together politicians, the profession and the universities to bring about real change in the prospects of those from less privileged backgrounds hoping to qualify as lawyers.

On behalf of the Law Society, Mr Lafferty welcomed the opportunity to attend the meeting:

I am delighted to be attending this event which I hope will provide a platform for constructive debate about how we can ensure fair access to legal education in Scotland.

My Law Society colleagues and I have expressed concerns about insufficient consultation on funding models, about the uncertainty surrounding future funding structures and the impact this uncertainty could have on students’ career choices.

I want to use this event as an opportunity to engage in discussion with not just  those in government but with universities, fair access campaigners, members of the legal profession and students to establish how we can ensure funding is made available to those who need it most.

I am proud of the diverse nature of our legal profession in Scotland and it is important that we work together to ensure anyone who wishes to enter the profession has the opportunity to do so irrespective of their social or economic circumstances.  It is diversity that ensures we have a profession that can serve the needs of society at large and I look forward to contributing to the debate on Tuesday evening.

The Scottish Law Agents Society, the Scottish Young Lawyers’ Association, the Trainee and Newly Qualified (TANQ) Society, the Scottish Legal Action Group, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the informal law firm working group Learning and Development Scotland and several of the university law schools will also be represented at the event.


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