Falkirk High School student Calum Fairbairn is to study law and politics at Edinburgh University after taking part in Brodies’ PRIME programme, which aims to widen access to the legal profession to young people from all backgrounds.
Calum, who is currently in sixth year, will be the first in his family to attend university after being accepted on the Law and Politics LLB course.
Calum applied to study law having taken part in the PRIME work experience programme, which allowed him to learn how different legal and support departments work through practical workshops, visiting the courts and speaking with the law department at Edinburgh University.
Brodies is a founding member of PRIME, a pioneering initiative by the UK’s leading law firms that aims to encourage diversity in the legal profession and help students broaden their skills. Brodies offers students aged between 13 and 17 the opportunity to take part in a structured work experience programme that is co-ordinated and delivered by the firm’s lawyers and staff.
Calum said: “I had a brilliant time working at Brodies. The work was really varied and it gave me the chance to learn that there’s not one type of law you have to go into, there’s a range of different areas you can work in. The people at Brodies were really friendly and supportive as well and I’m hugely grateful for the opportunity they’ve given me.
“I’d thought about a career in law before PRIME gave me the chance to work at Brodies, but this gave me a better idea of what it’s actually like to work in a law firm on a day-to-day basis. There’s no doubt that it also helped my university applications and I’m looking forward to embarking on the law and politics course at Edinburgh University later this year.”
Gregg Orrock, Depute Head with responsibility for Calum’s House, said: “PRIME has given Calum an opportunity that he might not otherwise have had. To hear that this experience has settled Calum’s decision is really reassuring, and shows what a great scheme this is.
“Getting experience at a leading law firm can not only help choose your career path, but can be hugely helpful when applying to university. Around degrees such as law we’re finding more and more that it’s not enough to just get the right exam results, you need other elements to your application, so the fact that Calum now has this experience under his belt it will have gone some way to helping him get the offer from Edinburgh University.”
Kirstie Maclennan, Brodies’ HR Director, commented, “We were so pleased to hear that Calum had been accepted to study law at university. It was a pleasure having him come and work with us, and I’m glad that his experience proved to be so useful.
“The experience of students such as Calum goes to show why PRIME is such an important initiative. Historically it’s been harder for pupils from less advantaged backgrounds to get into the legal profession, and this gap is exactly what we’re trying to eliminate with PRIME. Hopefully Calum’s experience can inspire others to think about working in the legal profession, and we wish him the best of luck at Edinburgh University and for his future career.”