Glasgow University hails success of CLASP project



The University of Glasgow has celebrated the success of a business law project involving Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (DPLP) students providing advice to business start-ups.

CLASP (Corporate Law Advisory Support Project) sees students providing advice, under the supervision of qualified lawyers, to business start ups, referred by the University’s enterprise manager.

The project was piloted last year and has been so successful in terms of employability, the number of new business start ups and business development opportunities that the university has agreed to fund it for a further year, with a view to private funding being arranged for future years.

Of the 19 Diploma students involved in the project, three had traineeships arranged at the commencement of the project. Following involvement in the project, a further 13 obtained legal traineeships, one obtained a job in the legal sector and another is doing an LLM.

A number of the student businesses that took part in CLASP have gone on to make real progress in their businesses, including MindMate.

Their successes have included winning the SIE Young Innovator’s Challenge, Digital Entrepreneur of the Year at Converge Challenge; £10,000 in funding from ScotEdge’s Young Edge Programme; a place on the University of Glasgow’s Summer Company Programme, sponsored by Santander; a place on the Enterprise Campus West Accelerator programme and three months of support from the IGNITE accelerator programme, based in Newcastle.

They are currently in the process of raising £250,000 from a number of potential investors to develop the next iteration of their product and are in talks with the NHS and a number of care homes.

SafeSpot, another start up advised by CLASP, is based around an app, designed by the co-founders who are both qualified psychiatrists. It takes an innovative approach to empowering young people to be more aware of their own emotional wellbeing and mental health. The company has also been making good progress since taking part in CLASP; the app is making a significant difference in reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues.

Riddle Rooms or “The Room” has also been going from strength to strength since taking part in CLASP. The owner of this business is still an undergraduate student but the business, which features six live escape game adventures, has already achieved five star reviews on Trip Advisor and is ranked as the 4th best fun attraction out of 44 in Glasgow.

Eileen Paterson, director (Operations) DPLP said: “This collaborative project has provided an excellent opportunity for our Diploma students to develop their legal and professional communication skills, commercial awareness and networks.

“It has also addressed a real need for accessible provision of legal advice to enterprising University of Glasgow students with viable business plans, starting up their own businesses.

“It is very satisfying to have been involved in addressing an unmet need which has, at the same time benefited enterprising students from across the university. I am delighted that we are able to offer this opportunity again this year.”

Marion Anderson, enterprise manager, added: “CLASP has addressed a real need for our student businesses while giving the legal students experience of working with their first ‘clients’. I sincerely hope that we are able to secure the private and public funding needed to turn this project into an integral offering from the University, which will help our students to support each other for many years to come.”