The University of Strathclyde Law Clinic is delighted to report that it won the Award for Best Contribution by a Law School at the 2015 LawWorks & Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards. In addition to this success, Jacob Hay, our Deputy Student Director, was the Runner-up for the Best Contribution by an Individual Student Award and our recently launched Online Project, spearheaded by Grant Storrar, was Highly Commended by the judging panel in the Best New Student Pro Bono Activity category.
On Wednesday, a group of Strathclyde Law Clinic students and staff were invited to attend the LawWorks & Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards ceremony in the Palace of Westminster in London. The Strathclyde Law Clinic had been shortlisted in all four award categories, a first for any law clinic, and was the only Scottish university to be represented at the Awards ceremony. Since the Awards were opened to Scottish Universities in 2009, this is our sixteenth shortlisting for the four annual awards, six more than any other law clinic. Moreover, our six awards in three different categories over this period are four more than any other law clinic.
The award we won this year was for the overall contribution of a law school to pro bono, and our success was undoubtedly due to a combination of the dedication to justice and enthusiasm of Law Clinic students and staff, and the generous support of the Law School, Faculty and University. The latter has ensured the level of staffing which guarantees our clients and the community highly professional service; whereas the former has provided the drive and innovation to constantly improve the services we provide to the community. Commenting on the award, founding Clinic Director, Professor Donald Nicolson, said: “it is extremely gratifying to gain the recognition we deserve as the U.K.’s leading law clinic in providing not only extensive and highly professional legal services to the community, but also the opportunities for students to integrate their clinical work into their legal studies through the Clinical LLB and other forms of experiential learning. It is clear that we are setting the pace when it comes to providing access to justice and learning experiences for our students.”
This impression was confirmed by Tom Jamieson, Communications Officer, who attended the ceremony. “What struck me most was the fact that everybody seemed to know about the Strathclyde Law Clinic, despite us being by far the most northerly participants! One particular comment was made to us about what sets the Strathclyde Law Clinic apart from others- its consistency. It seems other law clinics enjoy their purple patches now and again when they are lucky enough to have a group of particularly dedicated and hard-working students but, as these students move on, the work of these clinics falls off the radar of recognition. By contrast, what we have at Strathclyde is a legacy which is treasured and nurtured by each and every successive generation of members, who are keen to build on it for the future. It is this attitude which makes our Law Clinic so highly recognised and respected in the pro bono legal field across the UK. I am immensely proud to have shared in this legacy and to be a part of such a wonderful community of students all fighting for improved access to justice.”
To cap off a very successful week, on Thursday, the Law Clinic was further recognised when it was Highly Commended by the judging panel of the Scott & Co Scottish Legal Awards in the Pro Bono Award category.