Students shine at LawWorks pro bono awards

The attorney general, Dominic Grieve QC MP, once again hosted the annual LawWorks & Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards at the House of Commons. At a glittering ceremony yesterday (25 March 2013), the awards celebrated the outstanding achievements of law students in the field of pro bono.

Grieve commented that pro bono must not be used to replace ever-diminishing government funded legal aid, but that recognising the "fantastic work done by students and law schools in providing pro bono work" is essential. He went on: "It is impressive to see, so early on in their career, the commitment of these students to providing access to justice for all."

The winners were as follows:

  • Best contribution by a law school - Sheffield Hallam University: "Not only have the students been provided with opportunities to enthusiastically engage with pro bono projects, but law school academics have actively worked to raise awareness of pro bono both locally and internationally."
  • Best contribution by a team of students - Oxford Pro Bono Publico at the University of Oxford: "[The team is] responsible for managing research projects, which has involved liaising with project partners, recruiting graduate volunteers, overseeing research and compiling the final research reports, in addition to the day-to-day running of the organisation."
  • Best new student pro bono activity - the Community Legal Helpdesk at the University of Exeter: "This is a flagship project […] staffed by a large team of students who work tirelessly to provide a service for the benefit of court users struggling with difficult and complex legal issues."
  • Best individual student - Hannah Cosgrove, University of Strathclyde: "Hannah has not only worked tirelessly to provide exceptional service in the university's law clinic, but has also strived to improve pro bono services as a whole."

Nick Fluck, vice-president of the Law Society, sat on the panel of four judges, along with Tom Laidlaw, head of academic and public sector marketing at LexisNexis (the event's sponsor), retired senior lecturer and lawyer Robin Porter, and LawCareers.Net's very own editor, Isla Grant. Fluck said that he was impressed by the quality of work undertaken by the nominees: "Students and law schools show great dedication to pro bono and I have been inspired by my involvement in judging the awards. The LawWorks Students Project, which the Law Society is proud to support, is an important symbol of the profession’s continuing commitment to pro bono."

For the full list of shortlisted nominees, got to the LawWorks website.

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