05 June 2023
Volunteering at Legal Services Agency: Eilidh Denny
I first got involved with LSA at the beginning of June 2022 through a micro-placement with was advertised through my university, Edinburgh Napier University. I had a great experience working alongside Stuart Swan within the Employment Law Project and I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to come back as a volunteer if I wished upon completion. I have now been volunteering at LSA for roughly one year within the Employment Law Project with Stuart.
Outside of LSA, I have just completed my LLB Law Degree at Edinburgh Napier University, for which I am currently awaiting my grade band and graduation. I have recently applied for the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (DPLP) at both Strathclyde and Glasgow Universities. I am a Shift Manager at McDonald’s and have been for the past two years. I have progressed through the roles of Crew Member, Crew Trainer, Area Leader and now Shift Manager and have been with the company for five years this October, showing my dedication to the Golden Arches.
When I am not at university, volunteering, or working on shift, I usually find myself babysitting my lovely niece and nephew who I absolutely adore. I am proud to say that they are both my motivation to work towards becoming a solicitor as I know how much of a role model I am to them and I want to be able to make them both proud and inspire them through showing that hard work truly pays off. I also like spending my time at the gym, or going for food, drinks or days/nights out with my boyfriend, Denim – yes that is his legal name, I know very unusual!
Throughout my year of volunteering within the Employment Law Project, I have found that each day is never the same. There is always a new case with a different client who has different needs in which I always give 100%. In addition, I have had some exposure to the Disability and Social Justice Project with former colleague, Claire Cochrane, and the Housing Department through attending the Wednesday Helpdesk at Glasgow Sheriff Court with Jacqueline O’Donnell. I have found myself completing a range of tasks for Stuart over the last year. These include:
- Shadowing in office/calls/meetings
- Shadowing at Court/Tribunal
- Research Tasks – Helping Stuart with unusual circumstances in cases and researching for similar case law to support a potential claim
- Completing documentations/forms such as ET1 Forms
- Drafting Correspondence and Claim(s)
- File Management – Perusing Papers and Preparing Bundles
- Client Contact; Initial Details
I believe that the experiences that I have had over the last year will be so beneficial to my future as an aspiring solicitor. I know that there will be expectations that I have an understanding of how to complete such tasks when I am a solicitor. Gaining experience of completing such tasks now as a volunteer will put me in great stead for when I qualify as I will have more confidence in carrying out this work in the future. I have become more confident working with a range of legal professionals, as well as new clients through volunteering. I believe having this contact early on through volunteering has improved my communication skills and my ability to work with new people with ease. I plan on continuing volunteering for as long as I am able to do so as it is rewarding to help a charity-based project and being able to give back to those who are struggling to obtain legal support.