Press Release

LawWorks & Attorney General Student Award Winners Announced

Sponsor LexisNexis provides pro bono training in USA for Individual Student winner

London, March 30, 2010 - Students and law school staff from across the UK gathered in the House of Lords today to be recognised for their outstanding achievements in the field of legal pro bono work. The annual LawWorks & Attorney General Student Awards were again endorsed and presented by the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland QC.


 

The winners were as follows:

Best Contribution by a Law School - Northumbria University
Best Contribution by an Individual Student - Natasha Yusof (University of Warwick)
Best Team of Students - Queen Mary, University of London
Best New Pro Bono Activity - University of Durham


The event was again generously sponsored by legal information provider, LexisNexis, and organised by the legal pro bono charity, LawWorks.  Natasha Yusof, the winning individual student, was thrilled when LexisNexis offered her the chance to spend two weeks in the USA to gain firsthand experience in pro bono activity on the other side of the Atlantic.

The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland QC, said:  "Innovation, excellence and professionalism are writ large in the entries for this year's Awards.  We should remember that the entrants have combined busy academic or postgraduate studies with a fierce commitment to their pro bono work."

The Attorney General presented the awards alongside LawWorks' Chairman, Paul Newdick, and Head of Projects, Martin Curtis, along with LexisNexis' Commercial Director, Wai-Fung Thompson.

Northumbria University came out on top in the 'Law School' category for the second time in three years, repeating their feat of 2008.  Their Student Law Office remains a unique feature on the pro bono landscape, involving all final year law students in real casework throughout the year.

Former University of Warwick student, Natasha Yusof was a popular winner in the 'Individual' category.  Her tireless commitment to working on human rights issues in Afghanistan was an inspiration to all present.  Since graduating, Natasha continues to work with Femin Ijtihad, the organisation she set up whilst studying.

Martin Curtis, of LawWorks, expressed his thanks to Baroness Scotland for endorsing the awards for a third year.  He was also impressed with the response from law schools.  "The standard just keeps going up and the nominations increase.  Each year I am staggered by what the law schools and students achieve and hope that this event will only encourage more to get involved."

LexisNexis sponsored the event in its entirety for the second year running and wished Natasha well on her trip to the USA.  LexisNexis Commercial Director Wai-Fung Thompson said, "LexisNexis is proud to support the LawWorks and Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards. The standard of the winners and shortlisted candidates this year has been exceptional and the future of pro bono is in good hands."

In the category for best new activity, the University of Durham collected the award for their very first organised pro bono project, helping the parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities when it comes to their tribunal hearings. 

Finally, law students from Queen Mary won the award for best team of students in respect of their Pink Law initiative.  The project provides legal advice to the LGBT community and was short listed in the new activity category last year. 

The event also saw the Attorney General present the inaugural Access to Justice Foundation Student Prize to George Gordon of BPP Law School for his winning article on pro bono costs orders.

 


Notes to editors:

You can see details of all the shortlisted nominees.

The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC, endorses these awards, which are organised by LawWorks (the operating name for the Solicitors Pro Bono Group).

This year's panel of judges comprised:

Husnara Begum - Editor of Lawyer2B
Hugh Brayne - Author, tribunal judge and pro bono activist
Linda Lee - Vice President of the Law Society of England & Wales
Tom Laidlaw - Head of Academic Development at LexisNexis

LawWorks is a national charity with a mission to support, promote and encourage a commitment to pro bono across the solicitors' profession.  LawWorks aims to increase the delivery of free legal advice to individuals and communities in need.

Martin Curtis is one of two heads of projects at the charity and is also Project Manager for Students & Law Schools - a project funded by the Law Society of England & Wales.  The project aims to encourage, support, develop and monitor pro bono activity at law schools across the UK.

These awards supplement LawWorks' main pro bono awards for its member law firms and partnering organisations, which are awarded at its annual ball in June.  Award Ball tickets are now on sale. 

LexisNexis® is a leading global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions designed specifically for professionals in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting and academic markets. LexisNexis originally pioneered online information with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. A member of Reed Elsevier [NYSE: ENL; NYSE: RUK], LexisNexis serves customers in more than 100 countries with 15,000 employees worldwide.

In the UK, LexisNexis online services include LexisLibrary - named Online Product of the Year at the Legal Technology Awards - and Nexis® the single most powerful global news & business information service. The company has over 1,000 employees in the UK.

LexisNexis has kindly made its LexisPSL resource available free of charge to all LawWorks Student Member Clinics.  Student and law school representatives involved in a law school legal advice clinic who would like access to this resource may contact Thomas Laidlaw at LexisNexis (thomas.laidlaw@lexisnexis.co.uk) or Martin Curtis at LawWorks (martin.curtis@lawworks.org.uk).


The Access to Justice Foundation was formed as a result of the Legal Services Act 2007 and is the recipient of any funds awarded by the courts in the form of so called 'pro bono costs orders'.  The foundation is chaired by the former Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith.  You can find out more information about The Access to Justice Foundation on their website.

Media Contacts

Martin Curtis
LawWorks
T: 020 7090 7358
martin.curtis@lawworks.org.uk 

Mandy Blanks
LexisNexis
T: 020 7400 2874
M: 07833 482 699
mandy.blanks@lexisnexis.co.uk 

Toby Brown
Access to Justice Foundation
T: 020 7696 9900
tobybrown@atjf.org.uk 

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