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

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By Thomas Connelly on

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.

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