Our 20th Anniversary Event took place last night on-campus. It was well attended by advisors old and new, solicitors, advocates, members of the legal and third sectors, and other friends. We celebrated our achievements, reflected on our challenges, and took account of the current Access to Justice landscape in Scotland. With speakers discussing issues in Employment, Immigration and SSSC sectors, we had a fascinating overview of new developments in the law, and the, oftentimes, harsh realities for those navigating the justice system.
We would like to take one last opportunity to thank all of the speakers, who sacrificed their precious time to have that conversation. We would also like to thank our members and staff who worked hard to organise the event. And most of all, we would like to thank all of you, whether you managed to attend the event or were with us in spirit, for your continued support of the Clinic. Without our friends, supporters and volunteers, we would simply not be able to provide the services we do for our clients.
To round up our celebrations, a final word from our Clinic Director, Kathleen Laverty:
“I find it hard to believe that the Law Clinic turns 20 this year. I joined the team in 2006, initially on a very part time basis, and I am glad to say it has been a very rewarding and satisfying experience. It has changed immeasurably since it’s infancy while holding tight to it’s founding principles so clearly established by its founder Donald Nicolson in 2003. We are indebted to him for having the courage to establish the Clinic, the first of it’s kind in Scotland, and for giving it such strong foundations on which we have continued to build.
The most inspiring thing about the Clinic are the volunteer students and solicitors who give so much to improve access to justice. Undoubtedly students gain invaluable skills and experience which always stands them in good stead no matter what career they end up pursuing but it never ceases to amaze me how much they are prepared to give to ensure their clients voice is heard in whatever legal process they are undergoing. They are frequently prepared to go out with their comfort zone facing many demanding and challenging situations and they do so with such courage and tenacity that we cannot fail to be inspired. I feel very proud of our students for all the work they do in the Clinic – from the exciting to the mundane. All of this is done with a commitment and drive to improve access to justice.
The other joy about working in the Clinic are the incredible people I have worked alongside. I have had fantastic colleagues throughout my time in the Clinic with whom I have shared many highs and some lows, from and with whom I have learned so much, and whose enthusiasm is uplifting and infectious. It continues to feel like a dynamic and forward looking organisation which will continue to thrive in future years.
We owe many thanks to many people for the continued success of the Clinic not least to the clients who put their faith in us to advise and represent to the best of our ability. Although we will be faced with continuing problems in access to justice in the coming years I am very confident that the Clinic will continue to rise to those challenges and to do its utmost to plug the gaps in the provision of free legal advice for many years to come.”