City Uni GDL student crowned Future Legal Mind 2016

A Graduate Diploma in Law student at City University has been crowned the UK’s Future Legal Mind for 2016, winning £5,000 and work experience at the law firm Simpson Millar.

Left to right: George Croft, Simon Trott, Tom Philips
Left to right: George Croft, Simon Trott, Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips took the prize for his essay on whether the commoditisation of legal services is inevitable. You can read his winning essay here.

National Accident Helpline managing director and chair of the judges Simon Trott said: “Our congratulations to Tom, who really stood out for his originality of thought and clear understanding of the issues currently facing the legal profession.”

Phillips said: “I still can’t quite believe that I won. I’m immensely grateful to everyone involved. It will make a huge difference to me, not just financially, but also in terms of giving me a real opportunity to compete with a pool of extremely talented aspiring barristers.”

“It’s a fantastic opportunity. I know that all of the finalists will take a huge confidence boost from their success, especially given that we are all starting out and, at this stage, the rejections tend to come far more often than the yeses.”

“Personally, winning takes a lot of the pressure off me to take up paid employment this summer. It will hopefully enable me to spend a few weeks working at the Free Representation Unit on pro bono cases for people who have disability benefits appeals but do not have the resources to employ a fully qualified lawyer.”

Second place was taken by another GDL student, The University of Law Birmingham’s George Croft. He also wins a work placement at Simpson Millar, along with £2,000.

The remaining eight finalists all received £250. They are: Nada Aswad of Birkbeck College, University of London; Isaac Creighton of London Metropolitan; Daniel Doig of Leeds Beckett; Simone Farrer of Glasgow University; Charlotte Jose and Ryan Pledge of Portsmouth University; Rebecca Titus Cobb of BPP Manchester and Pavlos Artemios Xagoraris of City Law School.

Last year’s winner, York University undergraduate Amy Loughery, answered the question: “If the justice system were a blank canvas and you had the power to structure it, what would you do in terms of access to justice?”