Host Organisation: Clan Childlaw

Sarah Campbell

Sarah is a Trainee Solicitor with Clan Childlaw. She completed her undergraduate degree in Dual Qualifying Scots and English Law and her Diploma in Professional Legal Practice at Dundee University. During her third and fourth year of undergraduate study, Sarah was Vice President and President of Dundee University Law Society, respectively. In these roles Sarah was part of a team of students that organised fundraising events in aid of Clic Sargent and the Dundee Foodbank.

Sarah developed her interest in Social Welfare Law throughout her studies and through her role in the Civil Department at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. At the Sheriff Court she was responsible for preparing family courts, drafting interlocutors for Sheriffs, and communicating with solicitors and party litigants daily. Sarah is excited to pursue a career in Child Law and is looking forward to working on sibling contact cases.

Sarah is also currently undertaking a British Sign Language (BSL) course.

Project – The Promise - Lawyers for Children as a Specialism

The Promise is the vision of the Independent Care Review in Scotland. It identified that upholding the rights of children on the edge of and within Scotland’s system of care requires a unique skill set. The Review heard that the language used by lawyers has been confusing and distressing. It concludes that lawyers must act in way that is accessible, understandable and not overtly adversarial and that Scotland must consider the creation of an accredited legal specialism to set standards for legal professionals representing children. Those standards must uphold children’s rights, understand trauma and attachment and how to operate in a setting that seeks to uphold children’s wellbeing.

As the only specialist, child-centred lawyers solely representing children and young people in Scotland, Clan Childlaw is uniquely placed to advance this part of The Promise. It has secured funding from The Legal Education Foundation to work with The Promise to move towards the creation of this specialism across Scotland. Simultaneously, the newly formed UK Child Law Network is exploring its scope and hopes to build an understanding of what it means to be a child lawyer.

Together with her host organisation, Sarah aims to develop a specialism for child lawyers in Scotland and contribute towards this important work across the UK.

The aims of the project include:

  1. Working with the UK Child Law Network to develop a common understanding of what it means to be a child lawyer.
  2. Working with the Scottish Government and The Promise to develop a basis on which an accreditation scheme could be based.

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