The Lawscot Foundation won the silver award in the ‘Most Innovative Development by an Association’ category in the 2018 European Association Awards, Friday 23 February. 

The Law Society of Scotland also reached the final in the ‘Best National Association’ category.

The Lawscot Foundation - which competed with initiatives from countries including Belgium, Switzerland and Liechtenstein - was set up by the Law Society of Scotland in 2016 to remove financial barriers which prevent gifted students from less advantaged backgrounds from accessing the legal profession. 

The charity awarded its first bursaries in autumn of last year after a panel of experts had the difficult task of sifting through 51 applications to identify the eight most deserving candidates. Those eight students started their legal studies in October, with the Foundation’s financial and mentoring support in place.

Heather McKendrick, Head of Careers and Outreach at the Law Society, said: “We were thrilled that the Lawscot Foundation was shortlisted in the Most Innovative Development by an Association category and to take a silver award home when we were up against such stiff competition, is just fantastic.

“We are so proud of the Lawscot Foundation and all that has been achieved in less than two years.  But in particular, we are proud of the gifted young people, whose talents and inspirational stories are what drives the Foundation’s work and makes it all worthwhile.”

As the professional body for over 11,000 Scottish solicitors, the Law Society of Scotland was the only Scotland specific entry in the Best National Association category .

Lorna Jack, Chief Executive of the Law Society, said: “The legal profession has a key role to play in homes, communities and businesses across Scotland and increasingly, the globe.  As the professional body for Scottish solicitors, we strive to lead legal excellence, serving our members’ needs and protecting the public interest and we are delighted to have our work acknowledged amongst our European peers and colleagues.

“It is also wonderful to see our colleagues from the UK Law Societies’ Joint Brussels Office reaching the final in the Best Association Magazine or Publication category, for their brilliant, ‘Brussels Agenda’.  Well done to them, all the other finalists and winners.”

Hosted by award winning comedian, Andrew Maxwell, the ceremony was held in Brussels on Friday 23 February to recognise and reward excellence and exceptional quality delivered by associations across Europe. 

The Law Society’s Street Law programme was the winner in the Best Training Initiative category in last year’s awards.