Lauren Chisolm - LLB (Hons) Law

Lauren Chisolm
An awe-inspiring Law student from Invergordon has graduated this week at Robert Gordon University having been fuelled by her passion of making societal differences and pushing herself beyond all expectations.

Lauren Chisolm, 21, has graduated in LLB (Hons) Law from RGU’s Law School. After growing up in the Highlands and attending Invergordon High School, she soon realised that she wanted to be the first in her family to attend university.

“I decided to go because I wanted to take control of my own future and prove to myself that the only true limitations to what I can achieve are those I set myself.

“I always knew that there were bigger things out there for me than what was on my doorstep and what others expected of me, and I wanted the opportunity to develop personally and professionally in order to fulfil my full potential.”

While clearly being full of ambition from an early age, law wasn’t always in Lauren’s plans.

“I was late to accept my place at RGU as I had planned to attend a musical theatre school but I decided to push myself to try something which at the time I never imagined I could achieve.

“At RGU I was still able to continue to perform by joining Dance and competing with them each year. I know that a massive part of my academic success has come from the skills I learned whilst performing this really made a difference to me and made my decision to switch.”

After toying between the two and realising that her natural flair for musical theatre could be brought out at RGU Sport in addition to a law degree, Lauren has not looked back and discovered what really drives her.

“I want to make a difference. I chose to study law because I wanted to help people in difficult situations and truly make a difference to their lives.

“I am extremely passionate about making law more accessible to individuals. This is something that I have experienced to some extent after struggling for so long to find the support I needed. I want to be that for someone else and am currently working with secondary schools across Aberdeenshire and the Highlands to begin this change.

“Another reason for wanting to study law is to make a difference to my own life and future. I wanted to set an example that no matter what cards you are dealt in life, you can achieve anything you set your mind to and work hard for.”

For Lauren, and like so many of the students who have been happy to share their experiences, the support of staff has been a highlight of her time at RGU.

“Many of the staff that I have encountered during my time at RGU have been extremely respectable legal professionals who I had the pleasure of learning from and being inspired by.

“The staff also have a great relationship with the students and there have been many of my lecturers and tutors who have gone above and beyond to support me in my learning. My personal tutor and dissertation supervisor, David Hill, deserves particular recognition for being the voice for students and ensuring that we get the best out of our university experience.

“Another highlight of my time at RGU has been RGU SPORT. I was a member of the Dance club from first to third year and can truly say that it is one of the greatest assets at RGU.

“By having such well-established clubs and sporting opportunities for students, RGU Sport allows us to continue to develop, learn skills and do something we enjoy alongside studying.”

Tragically, and what makes her achievements and mindset all the more admirable, Lauren lost her Mum during the fourth year of her degree.

“This final year of university has been a particularly difficult one for me. I started this academic year just weeks after I lost my beautiful Mum to cancer. Throughout my life my Mum has always been my biggest supporter and when things got difficult and workload got heavy, she was my reason to keep going.

“In losing her, I lost myself and there was a time where I did not think I would even be finishing my degree this year never mind finishing in the way that I have. It took everything in me to find the same strength that my Mum showed us all to push through this year and I know that she would be so proud of me for that.

“My Mum sacrificed so much in her life for me, and I had hoped that one day I would be able to repay her for that. This is just as much my Mum’s achievement as it is mine and although she is not able to be here to celebrate with me, I carry so much of her in who I am. She is by my side for this success and all those to come.

Lauren’s strength to make it to graduation at all having suffered such heartbreak is a testament to her character and bravery. While going through this same final year, she also began working at Ledingham Chalmers LLP as a Legal Executive and already has career plans in place for the future.

“The support I have received from them and the Private Client Team over the past year has been a massive contributor to what I have achieved, and I am eternally grateful to have has this opportunity whilst studying.

“I have a legal placement arranged for the end of summer in London where I will be lucky enough to shadow several judges and network with some of the most impressive legal professionals in the country.

“In September I will then move on to study on the Postgraduate DPLP as the next step to becoming a lawyer. After that I will begin my legal traineeship at Brodies LLP.

Having endured so much in so little time, Lauren is very rightly proud of where she now is and is an example to any student of what can be accomplished.

“I am so proud of what I have achieved and the challenges I have pushed through to get to this place today.

“Throughout my time at RGU I have learned that the only thing standing in the way of me achieving what I want to achieve is myself and the staff in the law school have been amazing at helping me to navigate my way through that. I now feel ready to take on the next chapter and have RGU to thank for preparing me for it.

“I have learned so much about myself, I know what I want my future to look like, and I now feel as though I have the foundations to achieve more than I ever could have imagined as a 17-year-old taking the first big step of coming to university.”

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