Devilling scholarships open for applications

Devilling scholarships open for applications

Candidates who want to commence devilling at the Faculty of Advocates next year can now apply for scholarships to help ease financial tensions during their training.

There are four scholarship schemes and over 60 scholarships have been awarded during the past five years, totalling well over £350,000 worth of support provided to devils.

“We are delighted to be in a position to once again facilitate access to financial support during devilling,” said Ruth Crawford KC, treasurer at the Faculty of Advocates and chair of its Scholarship Committee.

“Although Faculty provides this advocacy training free to those who meet the admission criteria we are aware that lack of means may deter some who wish to practise as advocates. The scholarships are aimed at lowering any financial barriers to entry, as well as promoting and encouraging diversity and inclusion at the bar.

“I would encourage all those interested in coming to the bar to apply for the scholarships.”

All applicants must show sufficient ability, but greater weighting is given when awarding the Lord Hope, Faculty, and the SCLR Scholarships to those in financial need or to those from groups currently under-represented.

The Lord Reid Scholarship is awarded in honour of the late Lord Reid of Drem from a bequest provided by him. One Lord Reid Scholarship is awarded annually to the most outstanding candidate. In recent years, the Lord Reid Scholarship award has been in the region of £10,000.

One or more Faculty Scholarships may also be awarded to candidates of particular merit. In recent years, Faculty Scholarship awards have been in the region of £5,000 per successful applicant.

The SCLR Scholarship is generously funded by the Scottish Council of Law Reporting and is administered by the Faculty’s Scholarship Committee. The criteria are similar to those of the Lord Hope Scholarships and a single award is available of £5,000.

The Lord Hope Scholarships are funded by contributions made by existing members of Faculty. They may be awarded by themselves or in conjunction with other scholarships where a candidate demonstrates both particular merit and particular need. The size and number of Lord Hope Scholarships depends on the need and number of eligible applicants but, often, around eight to 10 scholarship awards have been made for amounts ranging between £3,000 and £8,000.

“I was very humbled to be offered the Lord Reid Scholarship this year,” said current devil Jamie McGowan. “I come from a care-experienced background and without the help of the scholarship, I would not be able to afford to come to the bar. No one should ever feel like they cannot become an advocate because of their background.

“The scholarships help remove barriers and open doors to prospective devils from all walks of life. This is incredibly important.”

Amelia Mah, who is also currently doing her advocacy training, said: “The scholarships offered by the Faculty of Advocates are invaluable in helping people come to the bar. I have long wanted to come to the bar and receiving the Lord Hope and Faculty scholarships was critical in realising that goal.

“Devilling for nine months without income is daunting, but these scholarships have provided me with financial stability and are vital in increasing diversity and inclusion.”

The deadline for applications for those intending to commence devilling in 2025 is Friday 10 May 2024. More details on the application process and further information are available here.

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