Revenge porn clinic and dementia law Skype sessions among winners of Attorney General pro bono awards

Student-run law firm and Scotland-Miami exchange also scoop prizes

lead12

A London-based clinic that gives advice to revenge porn victims was one of the big winners at this year’s university pro bono awards.

The annual LawWorks & Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards, now in its 10th year, saw the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre’s Sharing and Publishing Images to Embarrass (SPITE) project scoop the prize for the ‘Best Contribution by a Team of Students’.

But that wasn’t all: a number of students and universities from across the country were honoured at the House of Commons on Thursday, in a star-studded awards ceremony endorsed and presented by the Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC MP.

Nottingham Trent bagged the prize for ‘Best Contribution by a Law School’ for its alternative business structure law firm, the Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre. The Dementia Law Clinic — a new initiative pioneered by the University of Manchester that enables students to provide legal advice, sometimes via Skype, on dementia issues — was crowned the ‘Best New Student Pro Bono Activity’.

Also showered in glory was Fergus Lawrie, a University of Strathclyde student who — according to his LinkedIn — is in his third year of a four-year law degree. He won the title of ‘Best Contribution by an Individual Student’ for his involvement in the uni law clinic, namely its exchange programme with the University of Miami. Lawrie was praised for organising activities, entertainment and accommodation for the Miami students’ return trip to Glasgow, and for participating in the programme himself.

A major achievement for all involved; the winners and nominees, Wright rightly commented, “should be very proud” of themselves.

But it’s not all about the prizes. The award ceremony is a chance for universities to come together in celebration of all the students offering up their time to pro bono projects, of which there are plenty. According to LawWorks — an organisation connecting volunteer lawyers with the people that need them — over 2,000 students took part in initiatives across the charity’s network in 2014-2015, dealing with more than 11,000 queries.

In a legal market plagued by public sector cuts and controversy, student pro bono plays an important and valuable role in ensuring access to justice, and this should be celebrated. Paul Newdick, chair of LawWorks, echoed this when he said:

In an unpredictable and challenging time for the legal sector and those we are trying to serve, it is reassuring to see that student pro bono is now embedded at so many UK universities and we congratulate all the shortlisted candidates and winners.

The full list of winners is here.

2 Comments

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(1)
Anonymous

Wow – Best Contribution by an Individual Student goes to the guy who went on a jolly to Miami?

(2)(0)

Comments are closed.