Newcastle North MP, and former Northumbria Law School student, Catherine McKinnell has visited Northumbria University, Newcastle, to see the work being undertaken by its award-winning Student Law Office.
The University has recently been awarded The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for the outstanding community work of its Student Law Office.
During the visit Ms McKinnell met with students and lecturers from the Office and saw examples of the free legal services and advice they provide
As part of their studies, students in the Student Law Office undertake supervised work on real legal cases, including areas such as employment, family, crime, housing, civil litigation and business advice..
Since 2008 they have managed over 3,000 enquiries, represented more than 1,000 clients and secured nearly £1 million on their behalf. Through its casework and partnerships with leading charities and law firms the Office aims to improve access to justice for the North East community and at the same time develop students’ professional legal skills.
Ms McKinnell said: “This is a richly deserved award and I congratulate Northumbria University. The Student Law Office is clearly excellent preparation for legal practice and career development, and it makes a hugely positive impact for vulnerable people in the region by offering them a free and accessible legal service.”
Kevin Kerrigan, Executive Dean of The Law School at Northumbria, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ms McKinnell here today and to introduce her to some of the students and academic staff behind The Student Law Office. Our Queen’s Anniversary Prize was the only one awarded in relation to law this year and it carries a level of prestige that the whole university is immensely proud of.”
Carol Boothby, Director of The Student Law Office, said: “Through this award our Student Law Office has been judged to be of outstanding excellence with a positive social or economic impact. It is high profile recognition of clinical legal education, and it has been gratifying to be able to show how we are leading this growing educational phenomenon.”
The Queen’s Anniversary Prize is a biennial award scheme within the UK’s national honours’ system. Assessment of the decision process is overseen by the Awards Council of the Royal Anniversary Trust which submits its final recommendations to the Prime Minister, who in turn advises The Queen.
The Queen’s Anniversary Prize will be formally presented to students, staff and representatives of the University by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace on February 27.
Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focussed, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. To find out more about our courses go towww.northumbria.ac.uk