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The Frank Maguire Memorial Award gives students at law schools across Scotland the chance to win a prize of £1,000 and an internship at Thompsons Solicitors.

The award was set up in 2014 in memory of Frank Maguire, who was senior partner at Thompsons and one of Scotland’s foremost campaigning lawyers, working throughout his career to improve the rights of the sick, injured and vulnerable. In his honour, the award aims to encourage the next generation of lawyers campaigning for law reform.

Previous winner John Morgan said, "Winning the Frank Maguire Memorial Award in 2014 was a great honour. Frank was an incredible campaigning lawyer; one of the few modern lawyers who was named in lectures for their contribution to the development of law in Scotland. He very much lived his life in answer to the call to 'fight like hell for the living'. It was special to receive the award in the Scottish Parliament, an institution which he led campaigns to many times.

While the injustices in safety at work highlighted in my essay sadly remain, I am in no doubt that the process of research involved and the recognition contributed greatly to my legal practice over the last few years and my qualification as a solicitor in July. I am delighted that the award is being offered again to remind another generation of students that, like Frank, we should all be ready and willing to fight for what we believe in."

This year, entrants are asked to write an essay to the following brief:

What Price Justice?  The Scottish Government are committed to a policy of ‘privatising’ the civil justice system whereby court users will meet the cost of providing the service through court fees (

  1. Analyse how this policy will impact on access to justice;
  2. Whether it will disproportionately impact upon trades union finances in the context of recent Westminster legislation;
  3. Discuss alternative models for paying for the civil justice system including models from different European Jurisdictions; and
  4. Set out a detailed plan to take forward a campaign to change the system to your preferred alternative model

The award is open to all LLB and Diploma students. Essays should consist of approximately 5,000 words.  Entries should be submitted by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with your name, university and a contact number.

The closing date for entries is 27th February 2017 and the winner will be announced on 27th March, at the Scottish Parliament.

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