Aberdeen Law Project appoints new lead while Dame Anne Begg joins as patron
The Aberdeen Law Project (ALP) has announced Dame Anne Begg DBE (pictured right) as a patron and the promotion of third-year law student Sophie Mills to the position of student director.
Miss Mills becomes the project’s seventh student director, succeeding Louise Sloan who is graduating and intends to pursue a career in the third sector. Dame Anne meanwhile becomes the project’s sixth patron, joining Lord Hope of Craighead, Dame Hazel Genn, Lord Mulholland, Professor Margaret Ross and Martin Gilbert.
Dame Anne was MP for Aberdeen South between 1997 and 2015. Prior to this she was a teacher in Kirriemuir and Arbroath. She was appointed DBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List for services to disabled persons and equal opportunities.
Miss Mills (pictured right), from Glasgow, was educated at Hyndland Secondary School before coming up to Aberdeen to read Law in 2014. She is passionate about social justice issues and previously served as president of the Green Party at the University of Aberdeen.
Ryan Whelan, chair of the ALP board, and associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, said of the appointments: “It is a pleasure to welcome Dame Anne to ALP. Having passionately and tirelessly served the city for 18 years as an MP, Dame Anne is well acquainted with the social justice issues that exist in the North East.”
He added: “Also exciting for the project is the promotion of Sophie Mills to Student Director. Sophie undoubtedly has a hard act to follow, with Louise Sloan having been a tremendous success - diversifying the project’s community engagement initiatives and expanding the team’s reach and capacity to provide representation to those in the justice gap. Sophie, however, has long stood out as one of the stars of ALP – a far from easy task given the depth and breadth of talent that we are fortunate to have among the student body.”
Dame Anne said: “I am delighted to become a patron of the Aberdeen Law Project. One of the things I was actually conscious of when I was an MP was that access to good legal advice and help is crucial in making sure everyone has equal access to justice. However, for some people who don’t qualify for legal aid, which has been cut in recent years, getting legal advice and help is beyond their ability to pay. The Aberdeen Law Project can – and does - help in these circumstances, while giving vital practical experience to the law students who are members of the project.”
Miss Mills, who has been appointed on a two year term, added: “As well as legal and client skills, ALP has exposed me to things that have really made me think about the community, what it is to be a lawyer and how those in need can be assisted. Educating the community and advising those in the justice gap is a privilege. I am thrilled to have been appointed student director and I look forward to leading the team over the next two years.”
For more information on the Aberdeen Law Project or to volunteer your support please visit www.abdnlawproject.com.