A group of budding legal philanthropists from The University of Nottingham has won a prestigious award from the UK Attorney General and a national solicitors’ society.
The team of ten law students from the University’s Pro Bono Society were awarded “Best Contribution by a Team of Students” at the LawWorks and Attorney General Student Awards 2009. The award was presented to them by Baroness Scotland QC at a ceremony at the House of Lords.
The Society is made up of law students who organize local community and education projects to help disadvantaged people get a better awareness of and access to legal services. The team submitted evidence of its main projects which it runs with undergraduate volunteers from the University’s School of Law.
The students’ entry included the Society’s outreach schemes in both primary and secondary schools in Nottinghamshire to promote an interest in the law and in higher education. They also submitted the Society’s work with the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum, which offers refugees and asylum seekers free legal and housing advice in the city and county. Another scheme, working with a charity called Young Potential, supports young people across the East Midlands through community activities, playschemes and a church renovation project.
President of the University’s Pro Bono Society, Hannah Summerfield, said: "We were so thrilled just to be shortlisted and visit the House of Lords - but to win was truly amazing! It was really inspiring to see the work of other universities and law schools and to feel part of a national effort to give something back. This award recognises not just the hard work of our committee, but of all of the Law students who have been involved with the Society over the past year. We've been lucky to have had so many enthusiastic volunteers and I'm sure that this will continue next year."
Professor Stephen Bailey, Head of the Law School, said: "I am delighted that the hard work of the UoN Pro Bono Society, led by its President, Hannah Summerfield, has received this well deserved national recognition."
Alison Ingram, from LawWorks, a national solicitors’ Pro Bono group, said: “Pro bono work is of great benefit to any law student in terms of broadening legal skills and providing practical experience of giving advice. Student pro bono work offers an opportunity for students to use their legal knowledge in a productive way which is hugely appreciated by those who receive assistance."
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.
The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.