Winners of Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards unveiled

More than 100 students were treated to an afternoon tea reception at the House of Lords yesterday, after being short-listed for the annual Attorney General’s Pro Bono Awards.

The Attorney General Baroness Scotland announced the winners of each category at the event, which included best contribution by a law school, individual, team and best new pro bono activity.

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic that young people are so dedicated to pro bono work at such an early stage in their careers. Pro bono is at the heart of every good lawyer’s DNA and I think if students are demonstrating a real enjoyment and enthusiasm for pro bono work now then they are setting a great precedent for the future of the legal profession,” said Scotland.

University of Strathclyde walked away with a prize for the best contribution by a law school for its community pro bono clinic.

Law student Danielle McLaughlin, who had travelled from Scotland with the rest of her team that morning, said it was fantastic to be recognised for the team’s pro bono work.

“It has been such an honour to get invited to such a historic place as the House of Lords in the first place but then to win a prize is even more thrilling. I hope this will inspire others to carry on making pro bono contribution,” said McLaughlin.

The judges, who whittled down the shortlist, this year included Lawyer 2B’s editor Husnara Begum, legal education consultant at Talkinglaw Richard Grimes, vice President of the Law Society of England and Wales Bob Heslett, and head of academic development at LexisNexis Tom Laidlaw.

The winning list

Best Contribution by an Individual Student

Winner: Camilla Graham-Wood – The College of Law, London.

Runner up: Alex Simmonds – Nottingham Law School

Short list: Charlotte Skouby – BPP Law School, London and Alasdair Stewart – University of Strathclyde

Best Contribution by a Team of Students

Winner: University of Nottingham Pro Bono Society

Runner up: Small Business Clinic, Northumbria University

Short list: Streetlaw Prisons Project, BPP Law School, London; Queen Mary Student Pro Bono Group; and Law Clinic Committee, University of Strathclyde

Best Contribution by a Law School

Winner: University of Strathclyde

Runner Up: The College of Law

Short list: Queen Mary, University of London and University of Derby

Best New Pro Bono Activity

Winner: Birmingham TUC Centre for the Unemployed, the College of Law, Birmingham

Runner up: Small Business Clinic, Northumbria University

Short list: Alex Simmonds/Nottingham Law School, Bars in Their Eyes; Pink Law – Queen Mary, University of London; Community Legal Advice and Representation Service and University of the West of England/University of Bristol