Our volunteers come from a wide range of background, all with different skills and experience. Volunteer Grant O’Neil, who recently achieved a 2:1 LLB Scots Law Honours Degree shares his background with us and details of his course.
“The LLB is a four year course which I completed at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. In my fourth and final year, I studied in the areas of Family Law, Criminal Law , Criminology and Public International Law. In Family Law, I covered areas such as adoption, surrogacy and marriage whilst in Criminal Law, I focused on areas such as human rights, murder, assault and criminal defences. Perhaps the most interesting of all of the classes was Public International Law, which focused on the legality of the Iraq Wars, also analysing the breakup of Yugoslavia, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the legality if the use of force. Generally, the course us based upon essay writing.
Throughout my fourth and final year, I had to write a dissertation upon a topic chosen by myself. I write my piece upon homelessness, focusing on the way in which homeless individuals are isolated and marginalised by the American penal system. Quite shockingly, a 2014 study by the US Centre on Homelessness and Poverty found that some states prohibit members of the public from sharing food with homeless people, whilst other laws prohibit homeless individuals from lying or sitting in certain Metropolitan areas.
Writing the dissertation proved to be an excellent experience, particularly given that I had an opportunity to work on my own initiative in an area of great personal interest.
The four year Scots Law LLB Degree is required should an individual wish to become a solicitor. It is common for students to leave University with an LLB and seek careers outside of law, however I personally wish to quality as a solicitor. Therefore, I will return to the University of Strathclyde in September 2016 to complete the Diploma. Upon completion of the Diploma, I will have to find a Law firm in order to undertake a trainee-ship.
The LLB us an extremely interesting course and one that I would highly recommend to anyone considering doing it. It is a well suited course to individuals who enjoy English and Social Sciences.”
What attracted you to start volunteering with NACAS?
I felt that I needed to gain experience in working in an office environment as this would be relevant to my studies and I also wanted to help the local community.
What do you enjoy about your volunteering role?
I enjoy interacting with the public and meeting a wide array of people from different backgrounds.
What difference has volunteering made to you?
I have learned how to interact with different types of people and how to appropriately react to sensitive circumstances. I have also learned how to compose letters and make telephone enquiries.
I have gained a great deal of confidence from the experience and have also met a nice group of people.