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Ulster University’s Law Clinic has been shortlisted for a major UK award for the free legal advice service that it provides to members of the public. The 2018 LawWorks and Attorney General’s Award is for the best contribution by a UK Law School for student pro bono activity.

The Ulster University Law Clinic is one of only six Law Schools in the UK to be shortlisted.

The Clinic has been recognised for the 5,000 hours of pro bono support provided in over 140 social security and employment law cases across Northern Ireland.

Described as a lifeline for the ordinary person by former clients the Clinic is managed by Ulster University postgraduate law students under the guidance of Law Clinic staff.

Sasha Gillespie, postgraduate current student commented;

“The Ulster University Law Clinic offers free legal advice and representation to local people, and together with our partner organisations we are making a real difference to the lives of people in communities across Northern Ireland.

Working at the Clinic provides me with the opportunity to engage with partners and legal experts to develop my legal knowledge and skills across different legal issues including social security, employment law and housing law. It has been a fantastic opportunity to be involved in such an exciting and worthwhile programme.”

Dr Esther McGuinness, Co-Director of the Clinic, said:

“It’s a huge achievement to be shortlisted for the LawWorks award amongst industry leaders of pro bono law services. The Clinic is the core part of our LLM Access to Justice and we have won high-level national and international awards in every category of our work in the five years since the Clinic opened.

“The support we have received, particularly from our scholarship sponsors in the Department of Justice and Allen & Overy, has helped us achieve important and worthwhile outcomes for clients, students and the wider community.”

The awards ceremony takes place on Wednesday 25 April in the House of Commons and will be hosted by His Honour Sir Robin Knowles CBE and presented by the (UK) Attorney General, The Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC MP.