THE management team of Glasgow Caledonian University’s Law Clinic are pretty clear on the areas of law they would like to work in when they eventually qualify.

Human rights would be Cheryl Liddell’s preference while Scott Buchanan would like to focus on “something to do with healthcare” and Ross Wilson is interested in commercial law.

Dale Crombie’s ambition is probably closer to the mark of where they will all end up, with the final-year law student willing to follow a career “wherever they will take me”.

Like his colleagues, Mr Crombie is facing up to the prospect of having to find – and fund – a place on a legal diploma course before securing the training contract that will set his career in motion.

Though they recognise the enormity of the task ahead of them, all four feel they have already made significant strides by making it to law school in the first place.

While Mr Buchanan said that his school in Cumbernauld was supportive when he expressed an interest in going into the profession, the widely held view of the law as being the preserve of the wealthy and connected held such sway that he was conditioned to prepare for failure before he had even begun.

“There are not huge numbers of people who go to university from Cumbernauld and when I was going into 5th and 6th year and wanting to apply for law I was supported to do it but was warned that the entry requirements are hard and not to expect too much,” he said.

It is perhaps no surprise, then, that much of the law clinic’s work is focused on going into schools in socially disadvantaged areas to spread the message that, as Mr Wilson said, “law is not just a career for rich people”.

At its most basic level the aim of the outreach work is to encourage as many bright students as possible to consider a career in law and to give them tips on how to ensure their first steps are successful.

The grander ambition within that is to help accelerate the rate at which the make-up of the profession - which at the decision-making end is still dominated by privately educated white males – can start to become more representative of the wider population.

While helping improve the diversity of the profession from the bottom up is one key plank of the law clinic’s work, the other is bringing the law itself to sections of the public that are unable to access justice either because they cannot afford it or the claims they are looking to pursue are too low value for solicitors to take on.

Having run a one-day street law project for a number of years, the clinic has now taken residence within a unit in Glasgow’s Buchanan Galleries every Wednesday until the middle of April, with the aim of making its services available to a wider cross-section of the population.

“Street law is something we’ve been involved in for a few years as a clinic,” said Mr Wilson.

“It first started literally as street law when for one day a year just before or after Christmas we were out on the streets.

“We went around handing out leaflets about consumer issues, letting people know that they had rights and that we were there to help.

“That naturally moved into us speaking to social enterprise charity Kibble, which has a shop called Good in Buchanan Galleries where they were willing to house us for 10 weeks.”

Having held its first session last week, the clinic, which focuses mainly on employment and housing advice, has already seen an increase in its workload.

The benefits of this are twofold, with Mr Buchanan noting that the shop front has allowed the students to “give more people an insight into the rights they have”, while at the same time the students involved in the project are gaining wider client-facing experience.

With the students limited in the amount of advice they can give (anything that requires the oversight of a qualified solicitor gets referred out) Mr Wilson said “there’s a fair bit of signposting” involved in the work they do.

For someone looking for guidance on how to challenge a parking ticket or raise a low-level grievance with their employer, though, signposting is often all that is needed to enable them to exercise their rights.