A host of aspiring lawyers indulged in an afternoon tea reception at the House of Commons yesterday, after being short-listed for the annual LawWorks Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards.
The Attorney General Dominic Grieve announced the winners of each category, including best contribution by a law school, best contribution by an individual and team and the best new pro bono activity.
Grieve said: “These awards celebrate a group of law students who in spite of their busy academic or postgraduate studies have shown a strong commitment to pro bono work. By doing so they are continuing one of the finest traditions of the legal profession.”
Alasdair Stewart from the University of Strathclyde scooped the award for ‘Best Contribution by an Individual’ and BPP Streetlaw Homeless Team took the trophy for ‘Best Contribution by a Team’.
Stewart said: “The pro bono work I’ve taken part in during the last four years has been challenging but also extremely rewarding when you realise the significant impact you can make on some of the most vulnerable people in our society,”
“I feel extremely privileged to have been involved in the Law Clinic at the University of Strathclyde and to have studied at a university that recognises the huge benefits of pro bono work for both communities and students.”
Elsewhere, the University of Kent walked away with ’Best Contribution by a law school” for its community pro bono clinic.
A groundbreaking amount of students applied for the awards this year, reaching a total of 52 submissions.
The judges, who whittled down the shortlist, this year included Lawyer 2B’s editor Husnara Begum, LawWorks trustee and former director of BPP Law School’s pro bono centre Kara Irwin, head of academic development at LexisNexis Tom Laidlaw, and the vice president of the Law Society of England & Wales John Wotton.
The winning list
Best Contribution by an Individual Student
Winner: Alasdair Stewart, University of Strathclyde
Runner up: Ryan Whelan, University of Aberdeen
Best Contribution by a Team of Students
Winner: BPP Streetlaw Homeless Team
Runner up: BPP School Exclusions Unit
Best Contribution by a Law School
Winner: University of Kent
Runner up: Queen Mary, University of London
Best New Student Pro Bono Activity
Winner: University of the West of England – Domestic Abuse Service
Runner up: BPP Law School – Islington Law Centre Form Filling Clinic