The Scottish University Law Clinic Network (SULCN) Conference took place on Wednesday 8th June 2016 at the Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Law Clinic. The Free Legal Advice Centre was represented by a member of the 2015/2016 Student Operations Team and had attendees from a variety of Scottish universities, including Aberdeen and Napier. The guest speakers for this year’s event included Donald Nicholson OBE, founder of the Strathclyde Law Clinic, and Rob Marrs, Head of Education at the Law Society of Scotland.
Attendees were able to choose between two workshops to attend in the afternoon session: discussion led by Donald Nicholson on his paper ‘”Our Roots Began in (South) Africa”: Modelling Law Clinics to Maximise Social Justice Ends’ and a Street Law session taken by Rob Marrs. Donald’s workshop made the guests deliberate what would be the key aspects to include when starting up a law clinic. After working in groups to design their own law clinic, the groups then presented their model clinic to a panel in the style of BBC’s “Dragon’s Den.” In the second workshop, Rob Marrs walked the attendees through the Texas based case of Michael Morton who was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife. In the style of a Criminal Scene Investigation (CSI), Rob showed the evidence to the group and asked them if they thought Mr Morton was innocent or guilty and why. This was an interactive session that tested the participants to make them consider each piece of evidence and then discuss the importance of providing Street Law sessions to children in schools around Scotland.
The afternoon wound up with the plenary session to discuss general SULCN business, including the election of Malcolm Combe as the Chairperson of SULCN and the decision of holding the next event in September with the Conference taking place at GCU in 2017. To find out more about this event, check out Malcom Combe’s Storify as he was live tweeting the event throughout the day.