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Sussex University law grad with a ‘passion for pro bono’ becomes BPP’s first ever trainee solicitor

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News revealed in same week as annual student pro bono awards

Bono approves

A University of Sussex law graduate with an unrivalled passion for all things pro bono has made history by becoming BPP’s first ever trainee solicitor.

Mary Prescott, who graduated from the Brighton-based university in 2015, started her training contract at the law school giant’s pro bono centre earlier this month.

Completing her Legal Practice Course (LPC) at BPP last year, Prescott — who lives above a family-run pub in Bath, Somerset — already has a wealth of experience within the pro bono sector.

The 26-year-old has worked with a number of prominent legal and social charities including the Personal Support Unit and the Avon & Bristol Law Centre. Prescott, commenting on her training contract success, said:

I am delighted to be joining BPP University Law School’s Pro Bono Centre and look forward to sharing my passion for pro bono work with students. I cannot wait to make this role a success and demonstrate the fantastic commitment to both students and the wider community by BPP University Law School and its incredible Pro Bono Centre.

According to BPP, Prescott will spend the next two years developing her housing, family and welfare benefits law skills in the university’s London centre. She will receive expert guidance throughout her training contract courtesy of BPP’s supervising solicitor Tony Martin. He said:

The training contract at BPP University Law School’s Pro Bono Centre is a fantastic opportunity for Mary to train as a social welfare lawyer… One of the effects of the cuts in legal aid has been to reduce the availability of training contracts in social welfare law.

In other free legal advice news, the winners of this year’s annual student pro bono awards were unveiled earlier this week.

Sponsored by legal charity LawWorks, the awards saw University of Leicester law student Anna McCormack land the prize for “best contribution by an individual student”. McCormack, a future trainee at regional outfit Howes Percival, was the driving force behind a number of new pro bono schemes, including an initiative to support homeless people.

The Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, was on hand to dish out the gongs, which went to the likes of the University of Birmingham (best contribution by a law school) and Teesside Law Clinic (best contribution by a team of students). You can find out more about all of this year’s winners here.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub here.

32 Comments

Jones Day Partner

Well done Mary, you sweetheart.

(7)(1)

Jones Day Managing Partner

No obvious innuendo. You’re fired.

(11)(1)

Patrick

Excellent stuff.

(5)(0)

Rupert, A US firm trainee

Hey Patrick. Slow day at work?

(1)(0)

Rupert, A US firm trainee

Lunch as Dorsia at 1pm? I have to return some video tapes first.

(8)(0)

Patrick

Sorry can’t do Rupert, squash at 1:30pm. Got a res at eight-thirty at Dorsia tonight with Evelyn. Great sea urchin ceviche.

Rupert, A US firm trainee

Too bad Patrick… I didn’t want to get you drunk, but, ah, that’s a very fine Chardonnay you’re not drinking then. Guess I will go with Paul Allen instead.

Skadden Partner

Playboy Club at 8.30pm? Got some good coke for us.

Rupert, A US firm trainee

Certainly, as long as they play the new Phill Collins album for us.

Patrick

Did you know that Whitney Houston’s debut LP, called simply Whitney Houston had 4 number one singles on it? Did you know that, Rupert?

That whole 'Yale' thing

I’m sorry but this conversation.. it’s not terribly important to me.

Patrick

I’m trying to listen to the new Robert Palmer tape but you, my supposed mates, keep buzzing in my ear!

Rupert, A US firm trainee

Yes Patrick. I’m in touch with humanity.

We have to end apartheid and slow down the nuclear arms race, stop terrorism and world hunger. Ensure a strong national defence, prevent the spread of violence within central urban areas, work on the middle east settlement, prevent US military involvement overseas. We have to ensure that the US is respected as one of the world’s economic leaders. Now that’s not to belittle our domestic problems, which are equally important, if not more. Better and more affordable long -term care for the elderly , control and find the cure for the AIDS epidemic, clean up environmental damage from toxic waste and pollution, improve the quality of primary and secondary education, strengthen laws to crack down on crime and illegal drugs. We also have to ensure university education is affordable to everyone and protect the Medical Health Service for everyone plus conserve natural resources and areas of nature beauty and reduce the influence of political action committees.”“But economically we’re still a mess. We have to find a way to hold down the inflation rate and reduce the national debt. We also need to provide training and jobs for the unemployed as well as protecting existing US jobs from unfair foreign imports. We have to make England and the rest of the US a leader in new technology and at the same time preserve our historical companies. We need to promote economic growth and business expansion and hold the line against income tax and hold down interest rates while promoting opportunities for small businesses and control mergers and big corporate takeovers.

Former Jones Day Partner

Time to hit up Mary for some welfare advice.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

How much have they asked her to pay them for this role?

(15)(0)

Tim

I am often very rude about the legal profession, but people like this really make me think twice.

Welfare law is very important because we now have a far-right Tory government that is carrying out ‘grave and systematic’ abuses against disabled people – pretending that they are not disabled in order to deprive them of social security. Aided and abetted, of course, by creepy and slimy government lawyers making flimsy, creepy and slimy legal argument.

So good for you, Mary, fighting the good fight.

(6)(10)

Anonymous

Nice attempt to get politics in, but I’m afraid pro bono will be just as needed if Comrade Corbyn gets in.

(13)(2)

Tim

Yeah, human rights abuses against disabled people is just “politics.”

(6)(10)

Anonymous

Unfortunately this is nothing new at a local level. Some local authorities have been doing this for 25 years (i.e. the extent of my experience).

(4)(0)

Doc. Ludvig Friedrich Von Lowenstein

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

(1)(0)

Doc. Heinrich Litevsky.

Don’t they call it Ableist or something now?
You know the people LC hold up to ridicule and then delete their posts and who cannot be mentioned?

(0)(2)

Doc. Ludvig Friedrich Von Lowenstein

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

(0)(0)

Doc. Heinrich Litevsky.

Are you allowed to say the V word?

(0)(0)

Doc. Ludvig Friedrich Von Lowenstein

Let’s wait and see?

(0)(0)

Tarquin

Can we take a minute to talk about Jolyon? He really needs to be talked about

(9)(0)

Anonymous

Legal Cheek retraction suggests we are not allowed to talk about him any more.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Anyone else spot the irony of a govt minister handing out awards for pro-bono work…?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

“A University of Sussex law graduate with an unrivalled passion for all things pro bono has made history by becoming BPP’s first ever trainee solicitor.”

This is truly a milestone of our age. Our grandchildren will be asking us where we where when we first learned that BPP had taken on their first ever trainee solicitor.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

One word: LOL

(0)(0)

Slightly Annoyed Bumpkin

Why wasn’t I considered for this role…

this guy looks like an out-of-fashion rockstar… >:(

not cool man

(0)(0)

Slightly Annoyed Bumpkin

Oh isn’t this embarrassing

The guy IN the picture was an out-of-fashion rockstar

not Mary

I’m sorry, Mary. I hope that you do well in your role.

I’ll read the article next time

(4)(0)

Anonymous

She’s not the first BPP trainee though

(1)(0)

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