The awards celebrate the best pro bono activities undertaken by law students and law schools. They incorporate the Access to Justice Foundation award for an educational body or student which has made a significant contribution to promoting access to justice.
Due to ongoing social distancing measures we are not holding an Awards ceremony, but a thank you event and celebration will be hosted later in the year. Instead LawWorks will feature a video message of congratulations from the Attorney General. This will go live on the LawWorks website at 3pm on May 13th, with information about the winners, and a message of thanks from Alasdair Douglas, Chair of Trustees of LawWorks, and James Harper, Executive Sponsor for Rule of Law and CSR at LexisNexis.
In her remarks, the Attorney General The Rt Hon Suella Braverman QC MP will say,
“It is a delight to mark the contribution of so many of you to our justice system. Pro Bono reflects the best of our profession and I’m delighted to see so many, who are at the beginning of their training, so enthusiastic about pro bono. It’s great to see so many innovative and diverse projects which are part of these awards…on behalf of the Government I want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all of you.”
The winners of this year’s awards are:
Best contribution by a Law School: BPP University
BPP operate a dedicated Family Law Clinic in Holborn alongside existing advice clinics based in London, Manchester and Leeds, and an Employment Law Telephone Advice Line which operates in all its centres. BPP also offers an Enterprise Clinic which provides commercial advice for start-ups and small businesses nationally.
The runners up are the School of Law, University of Leeds. Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre, Nottingham Trent University were also highly commended.
Best contribution by a Team of Students: Plymouth Law Clinic and Red Cross partnership
The Refugee Family Reunion Law Clinic is run by the British Red Cross. Plymouth is a dispersal city for asylum seekers and, as a result, the clinic runs between 20 to 30 asylum cases at any one time. Students work with vulnerable individuals, many of whom are struggling with mental health issues and facing destitution, whilst being separated from immediate family members.
The runners up are the University of Salford.
Best New Pro Bono Activity: Hertfordshire Law Clinic, Hertfordshire Law School
115 Hertfordshire Law School students from all course levels have taken part in clinics which also offer free advice to low income individuals seeking family law advice. The clinic includes an outreach service to prisoners at HMP The Mount. The clinic also provides advice to small businesses on intellectual property/commercial law. Students are supervised by six members of University of Hertfordshire staff and solicitors from 14 local law firms.
The runners up are the University of Bristol Law Clinic Inquest Team, University of Bristol Law Clinic
Best Contribution by an Individual: Sartaz Billing, Hertfordshire Law School
As a student advisor, Sartaz assists clients through Hertfordshire Law Clinic’s Power of Attorney clinic. He is also a trained advisor with Citizens Advice in Hatfield and St Albans where he provides free legal advice via webchat and over the phone in relation to housing, employment, benefits and consumer rights issues.
The runner up is Jade Hunt, University of Essex.
Access to Justice Foundation award: Plymouth Law Clinic
Plymouth Law Clinic participated in a range of events across the South West, including an access to Justice South West conference in collaboration with Public Law Project and Plymouth Citizens Advice. Students have undertaken a variety of fundraising events to raise funds for the Access to Justice Foundation. Students have also developed partnerships organisations such as Plymouth Domestic Abuse Service, the British Red Cross and Plymouth and Devon Race Equality Council.
The runners up were University of Manchester Pro Bono Society.
The judges for the 2020 Awards were:
- Peter Farr, Head of Civil Law Policy, Ministry of Justice;
- David Greene, Vice President, the Law Society of England and Wales;
- James Harper, Executive Sponsor, Rule of Law and CSR for LexisNexis UK & Ireland;
- Joshua Richman, Senior Editor, LawCareers.Net;
- Leanne Targett-Parker, Chair, Bar Council Pro Bono Committee.
LawWorks would like to congratulate all shortlisted nominees and everyone who submitted nominations. LawWorks would also like to thank the judges for their hard work in drawing up the shortlist from an impressive list of nominations, and Lexis Nexis for their sponsorship of the Awards.
Martin Barnes, Chief Executive of LawWorks, said:
“These awards demonstrate the commitment and contribution made by students to supporting access to justice. Although it is not possible to hold the traditional awards ceremony at this time, e are delighted to b able to recognise and celebrate this year’s winners.
This year the standard of nominations was especially high, so the judges have had a difficult job, and every nomination shows just how much students do to help people with their legal problems. I congratulate the winners and look forward to meeting them at a celebratory event later in the year.”
For further information on the Student Pro Bono Awards, please visit www.lawworks.org.uk/student-awards