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OU’s free law clinic takes awards tech honour

The Open University’s Open Justice Centre’s Law Clinic, has won the Best Legal Tech Contribution in the Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards.

The centre, which offers free online legal advice led by the OU students supervised by qualified solicitors, beat a strong field to take the category title at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 1st May 2019.

The OU’s Open Justice Centre team with their award

The awards were hosted by High Court Judge, Sir Robin Knowles CBE, the awards were presented by the Attorney General, the Rt. Hon Geoffrey Cox MP QC and the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP.

Francine Ryan, Lecturer in Law and member of the Open Justice Centre, said:

This award is a wonderful recognition for all the hard work of the students and staff who have worked in the Law Clinic since it was launched in September 2017. This is a new category, and we are thrilled to be the first Law School to win this award. The award reflects the innovative way technology can be used to support access to justice.

The Open Justice Centre was represented at the awards by Francine Ryan, Director of the Law Clinic, Hugh Mcfaul, Module Chair of W360: Justice in Action, Liz Hardie, Student Experience Manager and a supervisor in the Law Clinic, Jon-Paul Knight, Open Justice Centre Manager and Sarah Couling, studying W360: Justice in Action and who works as a student advisor in the Law Clinic.

LawWorks is a charity committed to enabling access to justice through free legal advice.

The judges for the 2019 Awards were:-

  • Christina Blacklaws, President, Law Society
  • Peter Farr, Trustee, CILEx Pro Bono Trust
  • James Harper, Executive Sponsor, Rule of Law and CSR for LexisNexis UK & Ireland
  • Joshua Richman, Senior Editor, LawCareers.Net
  • Leanne Targett-Parker, Chair, Bar Council Pro Bono Committee

The awards are supported by LexisNexis.

About Author

Christine works in the Media Relations team within the Communications Unit at The Open University. She is an experienced BBC journalist, sub-editor and news editor and has a background in regional newspapers. After moving to PR she worked as a press officer for the Zoological Society of London. She has a BSc in Social Sciences with Politics from The Open University and focuses on stories from the Faculty of Social Science and widening access in HE. Chris swims regularly and has a pet Tortoise called Lightning.

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