Future Legal Mind essay competition winners announced

updated on 29 June 2020

The winner of the Future Legal Mind Award 2020 has been announced as law student Joseph Kelen, who wowed the prestigious competition’s judges with an entry arguing for reforms to laws on homelessness.

Future Legal Mind is an annual law essay competition sponsored by the National Accident Helpline, now in its sixth year. Topics are wide-ranging, including this year’s winning submission by University of Cambridge student Joseph and the two runner-up essays by Janahan Sivanathan and Mari Watkins.

Birbeck student Janahan’s entry detailed his journey from Sri Lanka to seek asylum in the UK and the legal struggles involved. Meanwhile, Mari demonstrated her passion for land law in an essay on ways to improve access to land for members of the public.

The winner is awarded £2,000, while the runners-up each receive £500.

Jonathan White, legal director of National Accident Helpline and one of the competition’s judges, said: “This year the quality of entries we received was higher than ever and covered a range of legal topics.

“Joseph’s submission was outstanding, and he is a very worthy winner. Mari’s topic of access to land was timely as it was something I had noticed while out walking more during lockdown, and we thought that she was a passionate advocate of the topic.

“Janahan’s entry showed his passion to help others based on his own experiences of immigration law, and as a judging panel we found his story very inspiring.”

Entries for Future Legal Mind 2021 will open in September 2020.