International Women’s Day at Strathclyde Law Clinic

On March 6th, the Strathclyde Law Clinic hosted our International Women’s day event in collaboration with the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre and Just Right Scotland. We work closley with the SWRC as one of the projects within the clinic, and through the hard work of Amy Woodcook, our project supervisor, the event brought together, staff, students, professionals and advocates from the legal community to commemorate the work of women in law and how this can be furthered.

The event featured speeches by many female professionals in the legal sphere, who shared their experiences in law and the importance of advcoacy for gender equality.

Our own Kate Laverty, one of the Law Clinic’s directors opened the event with a speech on the importance of advocating for women’s rights. She has worked with the University of Strtahlcyde Law Clinic for 17 years and is instrumentally important in the running of the clinic.

This was followed by Nicola Mooney‘s presentation of SWRC’s newest tool – the FollowIt app, a groundbreaking tool designed to aid survivors in documenting stalking incidents and gathering evidence. The app is free and available to use for women 18 years and over living in Scotland and can be found on the Android and iOS app stores. You can visit to find out more.

Both Hannah Fergusson and Rebecca Coltart, members of the SWRC network led impactful talks. Rebecca, a solicitor at Macnabs and an integral member of the pro-bono network, highlighted the importance of developing client communication skills in order to better aid survivors. Empathy, effective communication, and active listening were the key tools she drew attention to that can fundamentally impact the experience of survivors in recieving support. Hannah, a solicitor at Brodies shared her story from law student to legal practicitioner, discussing the challenges of family law but the immense reward that comes with her work.

Our hosts, two committed student advisors, Amy and Hannah, introduced a testimonials video from past and present student volunteers if the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre, reflecting on their experience, and learnings so far.

The Right Honourable Lady Sarah Wolffe KC also made a special appearance at the event, reflecting on her illustrious career, how the legal field has developed and her own experiences as a woman in the law. This follows on from a talk Lady Wolffe gave to first-year law students earlier in the year, in which she shared anecdotes of motherhood, family life and issues which were highly impactful when she first worked in the courst but may seem trivial today; such as what should women wear to court? Lady Wolffe is a Professor of practice at the University of Strathclyde and was the first woman appointed as a commercial judge in the Court of Session.

“It really struck me in listening to the experiences of these incredible women, how far we have come and sadly how far we still have to go.”

An event attendee

The reflections from all speakers highlighted one key theme this International Women’s Day, progress has been made but women still face severe challenges that require systemic change. In 2024, it is time to #InvestinHER.