Access to justice – views from the next generation

Access to justice – views from the next generation

On 28th April 2016, LexisNexis celebrated the tenth LawWorks & Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards at the House of Commons, together with Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC MP.

Following this event, we asked the winners Robbie Stern from Queen Mary, Ben Hammersley from the University of Manchester, Fergus Lawrie from The University of Strathclyde and Emma Salmon from the University of Law, for their views on access to justice.

  1. Where do you think pro bono will fit in your future career?

The general theme across all of the student responses was a commitment to “give back” and a belief that pro bono will feature in their future careers.

“I hope one day to practice as a barrister at a progressive public set, and certainly intend to commit a number of hours assisting individuals and civil society groups pro bono... I want to be able to represent less privileged clients in a way that is sustainable, so would hope to see a reversal in the dismantling of legal aid.” Robbie Stern

“I would like to think that pro-bono work will play a big part in my future career, both as a central part of my practice and something I would want to be involved in my own time.” Ben Hammersley

  1. Have you (or will you) receive any formal training about access to justice issues in your law degree?

While the students have had personal exposure to access to justice issues through their pro bono work, almost all of them commented on the lack of formal training and education in this space. But it was encouraging to hear The University of Strathclyde praised in this area:

“Access to justice issues are explored at great depth in this degree through assessments and taught modules… Students are encouraged to reflect on access to justice issues presented by the cases they deal with and the clients they serve, all the while challenging the black letter style of legal education in a vacuum that seems to prevail at undergraduate level.” Fergus Lawrie

  1. Why is access to justice important to you?

There was a general sentiment that the la

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About the author:
Mark is one of the Dispute Resolution blog’s technical editors. He qualified as a lawyer in Australia and worked in private practice before joining LexisNexis. In addition to contributing to the Dispute Resolution blog, he also writes for a number of LexisNexis blogs, including the Future of Law blog.