LAWWORKS & ATTORNEY GENERAL STUDENT AWARDS 2009
Awards sponsored by LexisNexis
Students and law schools from across the UK attended the House of Lords on Tuesday, 31 March in order to find out who would win the annual LawWorks & Attorney General Student Awards. For the first year, law schools in Scotland and Northern Ireland were invited to enter and representatives from the Law Society of Scotland attended to show support for this development.
The event was sponsored by legal publisher and information supplier, LexisNexis and organised by the legal pro bono charity, LawWorks. LexisNexis also provided a prize for the individual award winner – comprising two weeks in the USA gaining first hand experience of student pro bono activity across the Atlantic.
The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland QC. She presented the awards alongside LawWorks' Chairman, Paul Newdick, and Chief Executive, Rebecca Hilsenrath, along with LexisNexis' Managing Director, Josh Bottomley.
The winners were as follows:
Best Contribution by a Law School – University of Strathclyde
Best Contribution by an Individual Student – Camilla Graham-Wood (The College of Law, Bloomsbury)
Best Team of Students – University of Nottingham Pro Bono Society Best New Pro Bono Activity – The College of Law, Birmingham
The University of Strathclyde were thrilled with their award in the Best Law School category and were also short listed in two other categories. Their contribution to this year's awards marks a watershed for student pro bono activity in Scotland; long overlooked and now well and truly centre stage.
Former College of Law LPC student, Camilla Graham-Wood, won the individual category after being chosen for her remarkable commitment to a series of pro bono activities with a wide range of different organisations.
After first becoming involved with the Awards last year, LexisNexis sponsored the event in its entirety this year and were proud to be involved given the great achievements on display from students and law schools alike. Managing Director, Josh Bottomley, wished Camilla Graham-Wood well on her trip to the USA, "We are honoured to be a part of the LawWorks & Attorney General Student Awards. The future of the legal profession is dependent on the students of today and through their dedication and insight the industry will continue to grow and develop. As the winner of the individual award, we hope Camilla finds her time in Washington, D.C. with the LexisNexis CSR team insightful and rewarding."
In the category for best new activity, the Birmingham branch of The College of Law were successful following the assistance provided by law students at the Birmingham TUC Centre for the Unemployed. In addition, the efforts of the ten-strong student pro bono society committee at the University of Nottingham were rewarded as they came out with the award for the best team of students.
Other notable achievements included Queen Mary, University of London, which was short listed in three categories, and Alex Simmonds, formerly of Nottingham Law School, who was runner up in the individual category. The Bars in Their Eyes Programme, which Alex developed in cooperation with the law school, was also short listed in the new activity category. Finally, Northumbria University followed up last year's Best Law School prize by coming runner up in two other categories this year as a result of their Small Business Clinic pro bono service.
Martin Curtis, of LawWorks, was grateful to the Rt Hon. Baroness Scotland for endorsing the awards for a second year. He was also pleased with the response from law schools. "Given the quality and commitment that is consistently displayed at these Awards you could forgive law schools for passing up the opportunity to nominate. But this year has seen more nominations than ever and it is very encouraging to see the dynamic work being done by law schools across the UK."
Notes to editor:
You can see details of all the short listed nominees here - http://lawworks.org.uk/?id=student_awards_2009.
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) www.lawworks.org.uk.
This years panel of judges comprised:
Husnara Begum - Editor of Lawyer2B
Richard Grimes - Legal education consultant at Talkinglaw
Robert Heslett - Vice President of the Law Society of England & Wales
Thomas 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 specifically is Project Manager for Students & Law Schools – a project funded by the Law Society of England & Wales. He is responsible for encouraging, supporting, developing and monitoring pro bono activity at law schools across the UK.
LexisNexis® (www.lexisnexis.com) 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] (www.reedelsevier.com), LexisNexis serves customers in more than 100 countries with 18,000 employees worldwide.
In the UK, LexisNexis (lexisnexis.co.uk) online services include LexisNexis Butterworths - 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 their LexisPSL resource available free of charge to all LawWorks Student Member Clinics. If you are involved in a student or law school representative involved in a law school legal advice clinic and would like access to this resource, contact Thomas Laidlaw at LexisNexis (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Martin Curtis at LawWorks (email@example.com).
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.