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Mission and values

Edinburgh Law School is an international and in particular a European law school, rooted in the eclectic, open and inter-disciplinary intellectual traditions of Scots law. Our aim is to be universally recognised as one of the most influential and admired law schools. We want to be seen as a destination of choice for outstanding students and staff, and a place of intellectual adventure, achievement and personal fulfilment.

Edinburgh Law School is proud to work as part of the University’s Widening Participation team to provide opportunities to study Law to all students who show the potential to benefit and succeed on our programmes, regardless of their background.

      Students in a lecture at Adam Lecture Theatre

      The Law School works with the University’s Access to the Professions in conjunction with Reach: Scotland programme. The programme works with students in 41 target schools across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Scottish Borders, and Forth Valley to increase access to high demand professional areas including law.

      Eligible pupils in these target schools are supported from S4 to S6 throughout the entire research and university application process. The law strand of this project offers insights into the study of law, as well as into the various careers a law degree can take you into. We hold many events for the pupils including; career exploration events, subject exploration, taster lectures, workshops, opportunities to meet current law students, priority invitations to public lectures held in the Law School, and more.

      Find out more about Access to the Professions (with Reach: Scotland)

      A vital part of widening participation into higher education is the raising of aspirations of young people. As part of their work in this area, Student Recruitment and Admissions (SRA) run the Primary and Early Years Initiative. The schools we work with are Wester Hailes Education Centre (WHEC), Liberton High School, Leith Academy and their feeder primaries. In addition to these schools we also work with Colinton and Forthview primaries, making a total of 400+ pupils that work with us every academic year as part of the scheme. Edinburgh Law School offers subject workshops for pupils on both the primary and early secondary years programmes. At the primary level, the pupils are being introduced to law as a set of rules and tasked with coming up with some new laws. At the s1/s2 stage, the pupils are introduced to law in the wider context of the Courts and are given a taster session on the role of the courts and who works in them.

      The Law School contributes to the Lothians Equal Access Programme for Schools (LEAPS) Summer School. The Director of the Student Experience has been part of the Academic Skills course marking team on LEAPS Summer School since 2009.

      Find out more about LEAPS

      The University Centre for Open Learning
      This department offers excellent courses for those returning to study after a prolonged break, and for those preparing to start university, helping them to transition into university life and study.

      Find out more about the Centre for Open Learning programmes

      Law Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (LawPALS)
      As an official part of induction into Edinburgh Law School, we automatically assign all first year LLB students a place on the LawPALS programme. All first years are assigned to a group and attend weekly sessions led by trained Student Leaders from years above. LawPALS sessions are designed to support students in both academic and social transition into Edinburgh Law School.

      There are separate groups for students studying the 4-year Honours LLB, the 2-year Graduate LLB and students who come to us for a year (or part of a year) as part of an Erasmus or Exchange programme.

      Find out more about the LawPALS programme

      There are many ways students, graduates, solicitors, legal firms and organisations that employ solicitors can support Edinburgh Law School in its outreach and widening participation work.

      As a student:

      • Volunteer to help run workshops for local state school pupils.
      • Speak at one of our career exploration events.

      As a graduate, trainee, solicitor, advocate, law firm etc:

      • Come and speak at one of our events for local state school pupils interested in studying law.
      • Become involved in our careers sessions aimed at current Edinburgh LLB students. These events vary and can be anything from a specific area of law to chatting about your role and how you came to be in it.

      Edinburgh Law School is committed to equality and diversity, and to ensuring our school is welcoming and inclusive to all who choose to study, work or visit here.

      LGBTQ+ staff in Playfair Library

      Edinburgh Law School is proud to have staff, students and visitors from a wide variety of backgrounds, and we strive to ensure we meet the needs of our community.

      The Equality Act 2010 came into force on 01 October 2010 and merged nine existing pieces of legislation. The Equality Act 2010 brought legal protection for people within the nine protected characteristics described in the act. Discrimination towards people in any of these nine protected groups is unlawful. These protected characteristics are:

      Age: Information and advice relating to age
      Disability: Student and staff policies relating to disability
      Gender reassignment: University-wide information, and external publications, relating to trans equality
      Marriage and Civil Partnership: Information relating to marriage and civil partnership
      Pregnancy and maternity (and paternity/family): Family leave policies
      Race: Information relating to race equality initiatives and events
      Religion and belief: Resources and networks
      Sex: University-wide initiatives
      Sexual Orientation: University Staff Pride Network and Edinburgh University Student Association Resources LGBT+ Liberation Group

      Edinburgh Law School is committed to championing gender equality.

      Athena SWAN

      Athena SWAN is the Equality Challenge Unit’s Gender Charter, which aims to recognise advancement of gender equality.

      Edinburgh Law School was awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze award in September 2017.

      The Equality and Diversity Committee meets regularly to ensure implementation of the actions set out in Edinburgh Law School's successful Athena SWAN submission.

      Equality and Diversity Members Committee is made up from all sections of the School; 12 females and 6 males; 3 Professional Services staff, 3 students, 11 academics and 2 researchers

      The Director of Equality and Diversity in Edinburgh Law School is Lindsay Jack. She sits on the School Management Groups and attends the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science Athena SWAN Network.

      Equality and Diversity is a standing item on Edinburgh Law School’s Committee agenda.

      Visit the Athena SWAN website

      The Edinburgh Foundation for Women in Law

      Founded in 2014 as the Leadership Foundation for Women Lawyers, The Edinburgh Foundation for Women in Law wishes to help anyone who identifies as a woman working in law reach their full potential by breaking down barriers to progression. It aims to facilitate the vital conversations about equality and diversity necessary to achieve cultural and structural change.

      Visit the Edinburgh Foundation for Women in Law

      In recognition of the importance the School places on Equality and Diversity, we have appointed three LGBTQ+ advocates (Professor Sharon Cowan, Dr Remus Valsan and Ms Tracy Noden).

      The job of LGBTQ+ advocates is to be a first point of contact for LGBTQ+ students who wish to raise or discuss issues they face because of their LGBTQ+ status with a dedicated member of staff outside their personal tutor relationship. It is important to note that the LGBTQ+ advocates are not there to replace personal tutors. If students wish to discuss any of these matters with their personal tutor they should be able to do so. The advocates are also there to talk about any ideas or initiatives students might like to launch, and how the School could support this.

      Please feel free to contact us at

      The University is committed to the fair, reasonable and equitable allocation of work. The School aims to support flexible and family-friendly working and to recognise and value diversity across all our staff and students. The School has an active programme offering support and professional development for all staff providing mentoring, training, and networking opportunities.

      The School has a work allocation model (WAM) that adheres to the guiding principles of the University Policy and is monitored and reviewed regularly by the School WAM Management Group.

      View the University guiding principles on Work Allocation Models

      The environment is an important issue to everyone at the University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh Law School strives to manage all workplace activities which impact our environment and its resources.

      Bike in Old College Quad

      Local energy actions

      The University of Edinburgh's stance towards sustainable energy embraces reductions in energy demand through energy efficiency. Improved building design, improved intuitive environmental controls, natural lighting and better waste management contribute to reducing energy demand.

      Find out more about how the University supports social responsibility and sustainability

      Waste and recycling

      We actively engage in ways to lessen unnecessary waste, which causes environmental damage and costs money. Recycling points are located and clearly identified throughout the Law School's premises in Old College. All staff are encouraged to use reuseable bottles and cups and the Law School cafe offers discounts on keepcups and bottles.

      The University has an Equipment Exchange programme where staff can buy or sell equipment within the University.

      Get involved with Equipment Exchange

      Travel choices

      A sustainable transport system is one that is affordable, operates efficiently, and offers a choice.

      The University encourages staff to cycle to work where possible and has set up a scheme to help those wishing to travel to work by bicycle.

      University Cycle to Work Scheme

      Fairtrade and responsible procurement

      We have developed a key strategy in Sustainable Procurement and are striving to use goods and services that benefit the University, society, economy and the environment. We buy fair trade and recycled goods and we reuse and recycle within the School and across campus.

      Health and Wellbeing

      Wellbeing groups across campus inspire people to take up sport and develop active, healthy and sustainable lifestyles.

      Find out more about these groups on the University Health and Wellbeing website

      Other information

      The University's Social Responsibility and Sustainability Strategy 2010 - 2020 sets out the aspirations, direction and the first steps on the journey towards 2020.

      Read the University's Social Responsibility and Sustainability Strategy 2010 - 2020

      Contact Information

      For any queries about sustainability at the Law School please email