Louise Herd

Community Stories

RGU alumna working to protect rights of children and young people

RGU alumna Louise Herd is hoping to make a difference to children and young people in Scotland through her fellowship with specialist outreach legal representation service Clan Childlaw.

Louise graduated from The Law School after completing her LLB (hons) degree in 2016. She then went on to study an LLM in Human Rights and Criminal Justice at Aberdeen University for which she received distinction. While studying she gained the skills and confidence in working with children and she is now a Justice First Fellow with Clan Childlaw, a unique legal and advocacy service for children and young people in Scotland.

She said: “When the traineeship with Clan came up, I already knew about their reputation for working with children and promoting children’s rights, and when I read about the Justice First Fellowship scheme I jumped right on the opportunity. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I had loved working with children in the past, the traineeship would allow me to help people in need, take on legal work and become involved in promoting the rights of others.

“Working for an organisation who are both a charity and law firm allows me to continue to build on the positive experiences I have had whilst working in both sectors so far. Those I work with are supportive, encouraging, incredibly bright and overwhelmingly positive in what they do. The work they do for children is important and I am extremely proud to be a part of that.

“I am working with wonderful people who deeply care about issues facing children and issues of social welfare, and who are continuously fighting for the rights of children to be upheld and changed for the better. I am really looking forward to continuing with the rest of my traineeship at Clan and to making a positive impact on the lives of children through that work.”

Louise is part of the Justice First Fellowship scheme which was set up by the Legal Education Foundation to provide a path for aspiring lawyers who are interested in social welfare.

“The JFF Scheme was extremely exciting to me. During my undergraduate career and my DPLP there was always a great deal of encouragement and emphasis to apply to bigger firms so it was refreshing to discover the JFF Scheme. Whilst fully acknowledging the difficulties presented by this sector, such as the difficulties with legal aid etc, the JFF Scheme provided me with support and encouragement to go into a field where I can make a difference.

“I work best when I am engaged and interested in something. It was important to find work that I was passionate about. Finding an area of law that you are really interested in and pursuing it for as long as that makes sense to you is probably going to be my advice. If you want to work in legal aid/social welfare you should try your hardest to do just that.”

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