Reception marks beginning of new legal careers

Reception marks beginning of new legal careers

A successful year for the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice course, which has seen students offer free legal advice and win through to the finals of a prestigious negotiation competition, came to an end with a reception on Wednesday.

Hosted jointly by the Law School and Society of Advocates in Aberdeen it was an opportunity to toast success and to give students a taste of the next stage in their professional careers.

Many students from the course have given up their time to help run The Aberdeen Law Project, known as Casus Omissus. The project began in 2009 to offer free legal advice to those who could not afford to pay for legal representation.

It now has 140 members and has assisted over 200 clients with projects ranging from outreach in schools to assisting prisoners and street workers.

Course members have also been heavily involved in running the student Law Society, which organises social, academic and career focused events for students including speaker events and skills workshops with top law firms and legal professionals.

Two teams made up of students completing the Diploma won through to the finals of the Client Counselling Competition and Negotiation Competition, where they acted as lawyers representing a client and employed their negotiating skills against another team to achieve a satisfactory outcome.

Anne-Michelle Slater, head of the School of Law, said: “The Law School has an excellent relationship with the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen and this reception in their library is regarded as a particularly special way of marking the transition from student to trainee solicitor.

“The programme is designed to equip law students with the necessary skills and knowledge for the start of work in a two year legal traineeship - the final step to becoming a fully qualified member of the legal profession in Scotland.

“The majority of our students have already secured traineeships and this is an opportunity for us to toast their student achievement and wish them success as they begin their new careers.”

Susan Stokeld, Director of the Diploma added: “It has been an honour to watch the students gain in confidence and develop new skills.

“The reception gives tutors a chance to say goodbye to the students and to welcome them into the legal profession.

“We are delighted that the legal community of Aberdeen has demonstrated their support for our students by hosting the reception.”