17 students graduated from the University of Strathclyde on the 26 June with a Clinical LLB degree, including 9 students who will graduate with Honours. This will be the largest cohort of CLLB graduates since the degree’s inception in 2011.
The CLLB is an innovative degree path that allows our student advisors to integrate their Clinic activities with their academic learning as part of their LLB. The University of Strathclyde is one of the only universities in UK to offer students this opportunity at an undergraduate level.
Fergus Lawrie, who is graduating this year with a First Class Honours degree, tells us more about his experience of studying the CLLB:
I started my degree in 2013 and was immediately drawn to the Law Clinic. The chance to use the skills and knowledge from my degree to help those struggling to access justice was something that really appealed to me. When I found out that there was the opportunity to focus my studies in LLB classes on my experiences working in the Clinic, I was hooked.
The CLLB allowed me to study several areas of law in the context of my clients’ cases. It became abundantly clear that the law in textbooks and the lecture theatre is by no means reflected in practise. Additionally, I had the chance to develop more fully the practical skills I gained from working on real-life cases, such as negotiation and advocacy.
Throughout the degree I was encouraged to reflect on the ethics of law in practise as well as the role that law plays in our society. I am now much more attuned to ethical issues and aware of the need for equal access to the law alongside social justice. This passion and awareness helped me to discover areas of law that I would not have otherwise considered studying, particularly at Honours level, and become more engaged with my studies in doing so.
The emphasis of the Clinic in my studies pushed me not only to get more involved in the Clinic casework, but also in getting involved with the Clinics’ development in striving for access to justice. I was able to do this in developing and managing our Small Business Law Unit, targeting a new area of legal need and now assisting with overall strategic development as Student Director.
The Clinic and the CLLB have been an integral part of my time studying law at the University of Strathclyde in creating a truly engaging, rewarding and unforgettable university experience. I am indebted to both for driving my passion for the legal profession generally, as well as for using the law to make a difference.
Whilst the slightly different world of commercial practice awaits me after the Diploma, I am certain that the impact of the CLLB on me will be put to good use and will shape my career for the better. The CLLB and the Clinic are creating a generation of Scots lawyers who care about social justice and want to do something about it. This is something that I am incredibly proud and grateful to be a part of.