updated on 23 June 2021
The winner of the Future Legal Mind Award 2021 has been announced as BPP University Bar Student Elena Michael, who impressed the judges with her ideas on regulating the UK’s commercialised porn industry. Elena will receive £2,000 towards her career.
Future Legal Mind is an annual law essay competition sponsored by the National Accident Helpline and is aimed at finding and celebrating future legal talent. This year’s award received the “highest number of entries ever”, according to Will Herbertson, marketing and strategy director of National Accident Helpline Group, making the “task of choosing a winner a particularly challenging one.”
The submissions covered a wide range of topics. University of Cambridge law student Gabrielle Butler, and a Future Legal Mind Award runner-up, focused her essay on the need to provide better access to justice for women who experience sexual violence, and fellow runner-up and BPP University law student Lou Lou Curry argued that the law needs reforming to change the difficult burden of proof facing LGBTQ+ asylum seekers. Both runners-up will receive £250.
As part of the award, Elena, Gabrielle and Lou Lou will also have the chance to take part in mentoring with experienced lawyers from the National Accident Helpline.
This year’s winner Elena said: “It took me several days to process the news that I’d won. I love what Future Legal Mind stands for in celebrating those just starting out in the profession and appreciating our potential to innovate.”
Meanwhile, Lou Lou said: “I am beyond delighted to have been named as a runner-up. The mentoring and prize fund will go a long way in furthering my legal career and I am grateful for this boost in both my confidence and career.”
Will Herbertson, marketing and strategy director of National Accident Helpline Group said: “Elena’s entry was outstanding. The work she has done outside of her studies, and the way in which she presented her argument for the need to regulate the porn industry we thought was truly inspiring.
“Gabrielle showed her passion for challenging laws that discriminate against minority groups. Lou Lou drew attention to a lesser-known, but equally important aspect of the law that needs reforming to benefit minority groups.
“This award recognises individuals that try to help others and strive to do the right thing, and I’m pleased to confirm that Future Legal Mind will be back again in 2022, opening for entries in September.”