In order to ensure that the Clinic can run at full capacity during the university holiday period, we hire a number of part time ‘Summer Students’ to staff the Clinic. These students are typically funded through one of our partnerships or by one of the law firms that support of the Clinic. This year we have been able to hire ten summer students, thanks in part to the support the Refugee Survival Trust, David Stirling and the Scottish Women’s Right Centre.
In the fourth of a series of articles written by our Summer Students, Miranda Hughes describes a typical day.
I am working as a summer student for the Immigration Unit, a project that works on referrals from the Scottish Refugee Council with individuals who have exhausted the asylum process. This work can be emotionally draining at times but is also incredibly rewarding. It is also great to be part of a project that, driven by Barbara Coll’s passion and expertise, has grown so much over the past year. This summer we have been reviewing all referrals made to the unit over the last year, developing the Asylum Process handbook which provides key information to the students in the unit and helping to compile a report to provide to the SRC. I truly feel like I learn something new every day.
This morning, however, my day started on a completely different track as one of my cases had a proof scheduled. I spent most of yesterday trying to negotiate a settlement with the solicitor from the other side and at 6.30pm we reached an agreement that both clients were happy with. However, neither side were willing to negotiate on expenses so this was to be a decided by the judge. Turning up with my co-advisor this morning I felt nervous and excited in equal measures but all our hard work paid off when the judge sided with our client and did not award expenses.
Walking back up to the Law Clinic, I felt so pleased we had managed to achieve that success for our client and was excited to go back and share the news with my fellow summer students. We are all so supportive of each other’s successes and ready to step in for client meetings or help each other out with casework; it’s a great environment to be a part of.
Once back, I began compiling a schedule of loss for one of my employment cases that is going to a full hearing in September. Having not done any maths since I was 15, it can be testing at times, but it only goes to show how fantastically varied the work is in the Law Clinic.