Michael Malvenda, who recently completed his LLB at Edinburgh University, spent a week in May on work experience with us after winning our Children's Rights essay competition, organised as part of our 10-year anniversary celebrations. He writes here about his experience. Thanks Michael!

I was fortunate to complete a week’s long work experience with Clan Childlaw in mid-May and it was a truly exciting and informative experience. As an LLB student, I was keen to survey the practices behind an organisation like Clan and the legal work of its solicitors. The experience overwhelmed my curiosity and equipped me with insights I am eager to explore further in future work.

Firstly, my workload was diverse and challenging. In the office, my tasks ranged from completing case summaries to researching legal resources Clan used to advise online. Engaging in this research from the outset immersed me into the mindset of my colleagues at Clan Childlaw. Areas of child law I had skimmed over during my studies were dealt with more fully and I was stimulated to spend additional time learning and digesting notions, like sibling contact and strategic litigation, that enriched my background and undertakings throughout the week.

Moreover, I was encouraged to conduct further research based on various meetings I had with individuals in the field. Colleagues took the time to sit down in meetings with me and explain their stories, positions, and life-changing work. I was fascinated by how they personally engaged the with law and the initiatives they led to support their efforts. Beyond being informative, my colleagues were galvanising and their passion invigorated my own.

My week culminated in a powerful examination of child law by attending a legal seminar on the UNCRC and its incorporation in Scotland. My research tasks during the week included probing the UNCRC and how its principles could be better established in Scotland. Following this, I was fortunate to go to the Commissioner for Children and Young People’s Office and take part in the seminar on proposed UNCRC incorporation legislation. The meeting was energetic and captivating. Individuals with policy and legal experience from across Scotland joined together to deliberate and dissect the legislation, together expressing their legal aptitude and aspirations. It was any law student’s dream to witness the conversations and interactions at play; the opportunity to sit through the seminar and contribute my views was a tremendous pleasure and I was reminded of my initial love for the law – debating fundamental issues that make a vital difference in everyday society.

I am thankful to everyone at Clan Childlaw for the memorable and heartening experience they provided me in such a short period of time, and I look forward to utilising and building upon that experience as I continue onwards in my studies and career.