The Open Justice Centre’s Law Clinic, which offers free online legal advice led by OU students supervised by qualified solicitors, was highly commended in the LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards. They received their award in the ‘Best new pro bono activity’ category at the award ceremony at the Law Society in London on Monday 3 December.
Francine Ryan, Lecturer in Law and member of the Open Justice Centre, said:
“This accolade is wonderful recognition for everyone’s hard work since the Law Clinic was launched in September 2017. We were delighted to be shortlisted and then to receive this commendation in such a tough category with some great competition is fantastic news.
“The Law Clinic has already seen 50 of our very own law students offer free online advice sessions, supervised by qualified solicitors, to help the general public resolve their particular legal issue. These can range from contractual disputes to clinical negligence, civil litigation to building claims, and consumer rights to small claims. This helps promote the concept of ‘Open Justice’ with the Centre going from strength to strength since it was launched a little more than two years ago.”
The awards evening was hosted the radio and television presenter, producer and writer, Matthew Stadlen. A vocal and successful campaigner for social justice, Tottenham MP David Lammy, delivered the annual lecture. He has led the campaign for the ‘Windrush generation’ to be granted British citizenship and paid compensation, while also being at the forefront of the fight for justice for the Grenfell Tower fire families.
The Open Justice Centre was represented at the awards by Keren Lloyd Bright who has responsibility for the prison projects, associate lecturer Andrew Maxfield who teaches on the ‘W360: Justice in Action’ module and Law alumnus Ken Ragon-Chambers who works as a student adviser in the Law Clinic.
LawWorks is a charity committed to enabling access to justice through free legal advice. The judging panel for the awards, sponsored by Lexis Nexis, included Adele Edwin-Lamerton (Chair, Junior Lawyers Division), Jeremy Miles AM (the Counsel General for Wales), Chris Minnoch (Operations Director, Legal Aid Practitioners Group), Dame Janet Smith (Trustee, Access to Justice Foundation) and Paul Rogerson (Editor-in-chief, Law Society Gazette).
Updated Dec 2018 following the awards ceremony.