On Tuesday 23 October, NUS Scotland will be attending an event at the Scottish Parliament entitled “Fair Access to the Legal Profession: Questions of Justice and Education”, hosted by the Campaign for Fair Access to the Legal Profession (CFALP).
CFALP is a campaigning group formed by university law students from across Scotland, aimed at making Scottish legal study, and the legal profession, more representative of Scottish society through fairer access to LLB and Diploma in Legal Practice courses.
Previous NUS Scotland research has shown that Scotland continues to have an extremely poor record on widening access.
This is no different in the professions, and in fact often worse. Our research has shown that for every one student recruited on to law courses from the most deprived backgrounds there are almost five recruited from the least deprived backgrounds.
The event follows on from a CFALP organised, and NUS Scotland supported, debate in parliament on the topic of fair access to the legal profession. You can read our briefing prepared before the debate for MSPs here.
The evening will bring together politicians, students and members of the legal profession to discuss how we can all work to make the legal profession more representative, and ensure background is never a barrier to entry.
Speaking ahead of the event, NUS Scotland President, Robin Parker, said: "NUS Scotland welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the debate on access to the legal profession.
"We believe that the Scottish Parliament has a responsibility, together with the universities and the professions themselves, to make access to all forms of education fairer, and take proactive action to make professions of societal importance, including the legal profession, more reflective of Scottish society.
“As our recent research report, Unlocking Scotland’s Potential, found, Scottish higher education remains far too unrepresentative. This has change, and we should rightly be able to hold up a mirror to Scottish universities and see a proud reflection of Scottish society.
"That’s why we’ve launched our latest campaign at www.unlockscotlandspotential.org, calling on the Scottish Parliament and universities to do all they can to improve access. And when we’re looking at professions like law, employers rightly have a role to play too.
"We look forward to speaking with politicians, students, fellow campaigners and members of the legal profession at this event. We hope it may mark the beginning of a process of engagement between all the relevant stakeholders and that the education and training of future lawyers may become an example of fair access to be followed by other professions."