Reach out and aim high
Reach is an SFC-funded widening access project for eligible secondary state school students interested in becoming a doctor, lawyer, dentist or vet. Here, Reach alumni write and talk about their experiences.
My name is Roma and I am in my second year at the University of Aberdeen studying the dual qualifying LLB with English Law.
In school, Modern Studies and English were my favourite subjects although I still enjoyed maths and science. The topics explored in Modern Studies, especially ‘crime and the law’ and ‘world powers’ always kept me engaged. English was where I had the opportunity to express myself freely. The critical essay was always the part I looked forward to the most as we could express our own views and present our own arguments.
Naturally, this led me to pursue a career in law as I felt that this profession encompassed both aspects of what I enjoyed about Modern Studies and English. The problem was I didn’t know where to start.
Fortunately, my guidance teacher had been contacted by the REACH programme at the University of Aberdeen. He informed me they were running a ‘So You Want to Be a Lawyer?’ event for S4-S6 students. The event included talks from lawyers and current law students, and outlined different pathways of getting into studying law at university. This gave me a valuable insight into what studying law was really like, as well as what my future could look like.
My experience and engagement with Reach lasted the full two years from when I was in S4 until S6, and during that time I went to several court and prison visits, two ‘So You Want to Be a Lawyer?’ events and a law-based personal statement workshop.
Reach gave me an access point I never would have had. Before I joined the programme, I did not know that I could study Scots law and English law simultaneously, I had never seen a trial in court, and I had no idea how to write a personal statement that would be law-based. REACH gave me the tools and the confidence to truly believe I could become a lawyer.
My advice to anyone thinking about joining the Reach programme is to just go for it! It is a flexible programme so it takes no time away from your studies and they will reimburse you for expenses so there is no need to worry about time or travel costs. You will also get to meet other people from different schools who are also interested in studying law, so it is great to meet like-minded people.
If I could describe the experience in three words, they would be; insightful, rewarding and fun.
- Roma Coull, second year law student, University of Aberdeen, 27 May 2022
My name is Megan. I graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 2017 with a degree in law and am now the graduate access and articulation trainee at the University of Aberdeen. As part of my role, I help to run the University’s Reach Programme. It is great to be able to help young people aspire to university and professional careers, such as law.
I was fortunate enough to work with the Reach programme in Aberdeen whilst in my senior years at secondary school. Reach organised a trip to Aberdeen Sheriff Court where we met the Sheriff and several other staff members, gaining a real insight to the running of the court. We also sat in on some trials. This was a great experience, and it gave me an understanding of how Scottish courts operate (which was slightly different from what I had seen on TV dramas). It also gave me confidence to go back into the public court sessions in my own free time. The programme supported me through my UCAS application by offering advice on the process and providing tips on my personal statement.
Reach helped breakdown the process of applying to university to make it seem less daunting. The programme also gave me the opportunity to meet the admission selector for the Law School. This experience made me feel more confident when applying to study law as I had personally met the professor who would be reading my application.
The Reach programme now offers even more workshops and experiences that can help prepare pupils interested in going to university, and I would encourage young people to sign up. Reach is here to help you succeed, from applications to questions about studying law – we are here to help!
If I could describe the experience in three words, they would be; supportive, helpful, welcoming.
- Megan Innes, graduate access and articulation trainee, University of Aberdeen, 27 May 2022
Alongside Roma and Megan’s testimonials, a group of medical, law, veterinary science and dentistry students from the University of Glasgow talk on video about their experiences of the Reach programme.
Roma Coull, second year law student, University of Aberdeen; and Megan Innes, graduate access and articulation trainee, University of Aberdeen - 27 May 2022