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Latest Student Law Office news and events

Second issue of the International Journal of Public Legal Education now live

26 June, 2017

Edited by Student Law Office module leader Sarah Morse, the International Journal of Public Legal Education aims to promote & support PLE development, and critically examine & share best practice. The second issue looks at programme design, development and value, and features an article on student-led blogs by SLO supervisor Victoria Roper. 

Family Justice Project wins Best New Pro Bono Activity at prestigious national awards!

25 April 2018

At the LawWorks and Attorney General Student Awards 2018, held in the House of Commons, judges named The Family Justice Project as the Best New Pro-Bono Activity. The awards recognise and celebrate outstanding pro bono work undertaken by law schools and students across the UK. They are run by national charity LawWorks with the support of the Attorney General, The Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC MP.

The Family Justice Project launched in 2017, in response to the drastic surge in demand for pro bono legal advice and representation in family law matters in the North East following the reduction in the availability of legal aid. Led by Ana Speed and Kayliegh Richardson, senior lecturers at Northumbria Law School and practising solicitors, the Family Justice Project empowers and provides extensive and high quality free legal advice and support to vulnerable and minority groups. 

Paul McKeown, Director of the Student Law Office at Northumbria University, said: “These are hugely significant awards within the legal sector and we are immensely proud of all those involved in The Family Justice Project. The legal support provided has been recognised at the highest level for its quality, and for fulfilling a growing need for pro-bono legal assistance. It also provides our students with an outstanding learning experience that they can take with them into their future careers. Winning the award is testament to their commitment and skills as legal practitioners - it is richly deserved. We also thank the partners that worked with us on this project, Ben Hoare Bell LLP, the Angelou Centre and Impact Family Services”.

Congratulations to our staff and students on this fantastic achievement!

SLO supervisor shortlisted for Law Teacher of the Year

26 March 2018

SLO supervisor Victoria Roper has been shortlisted as a finalist for Law Teacher of the Year, at the 2018 Northern Law Awards.

This award is open to any law teacher working in a higher education institution in the North of England. Entrants must provide evidence of innovative teaching practices, an ability to enhance student learning experience through scholarly activities, student engagement skills, interest in student development, and student satisfaction.  

Reflecting on her successful shortlisting, Victoria said: 

“I am delighted to be a finalist in the Law Teacher of the Year Category. Northumbria Law School strives provides its students with an excellent teaching environment and I am proud to do my part to enhance the student experience”. 

Victoria will meet with the judging panel on 19th April 2018. The awards are announced on 7th June 2018. We wish Victoria the best of luck and congratulate her on this wonderful accolade. 

SLO announced as shortlisted finalist in the Northern Law Awards

26 March 2018 

We were delighted to learn that we have been shortlisted as finalists in the Pro Bono/Community Initiative category at the Northern Law Awards

The Northern Law Awards celebrate the great wealth of legal talent and success within the North of England. Recognising success from across the career span with categories such as Trainee of the Year and Rising Star to Firm of the Year and the Outstanding Achievement, the awards give organisations the perfect opportunity to showcase and celebrate the talent of their firm, colleagues and team. 

Director of the Student Law Office, Paul McKeown, said:

"I am delighted the Student Law Office has been shortlisted in the Pro Bono/Community Initiative category at the Northern Law Awards.  This recognises the fantastic work of the staff and students in the provision of legal advice and assistance to the North East community and facilitating access to justice."

Congratulations to all of our hardworking students and staff for this fantastic recognition of your pro bono work!

SLO students rise to Great Legal Bake fundraising challenge

26 February 2018 

On Wednesday 14th February 2018, our students participated in the nationwide Great Legal Bake to raise money for the North East Legal Support Trust (NELST). NELST is our local arm of The Access to Justice Foundation which raises and distributes funds to support free legal advice services. The charities supported by the NELST help to facilitate access to justice for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society. They provide free legal help to people facing problems such as homelessness, debt, employment disputes and family issues.

Led by SLO supervisor, Ana Speed our students and supervisors created a fantastic range of sweet and savoury bakes, including vegan and gluten free options. We raised approximately £180 for NELST, supporting their vital work in ensuring access to justice for people who cannot afford legal services. Our thanks go to the Great Legal Bake Committee (SLO students Steph Wilson, James Stacey, Diana Margine, Michael Wood, Katie Rowsby, Farhana Ali and Jade Kennedy) for all of their efforts in organising the sale. Thanks also go to SLO staff Kayliegh Richardson, Dawn Nellist, Claire Cowell, and Chris Simmonds for bringing in some delicious treats. 

Student Law Office supervisor appointed to Law Society Committee

6 December, 2017

We are delighted to announce that Student Law Office supervisor, Victoria Roper, has been appointed to the Law Society's Education and Training Committee. 

The Law Society’s Education and Training Committee represents solicitors’ interests in matters relating to education and training, and sets and oversees the implementation of policy in this area.  

Commenting on her appointment Victoria said: “I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to contribute to the important work of the Education and Training Committee at such a crucial time for the solicitors’ profession. As both a university lecturer and a practicing solicitor, I am passionate about the education and training of solicitors and I want to contribute to decisions that will shape the future of legal education and impact both universities and law firms.”

Professor John Wilson, Pro-Vice Chancellor Faculty of Business and Law, added: “Victoria’s appointment to such an important and influential committee exemplifies the way in which Northumbria is a business-focused university with strong links to the professions. It also reflects the quality of teaching at Northumbria Law School, and the way in which we strive to be at the forefront of developments in legal education for the benefit of our law students and graduates.”

Family law firms take part in 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence

25 November, 2017

Family law firm supervisors Ana Speed and Kayliegh Richardson are hosting a series of activities for Student Law Office students as part of the international campaign, 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about gender violence and the strategies for ending it.

As part of the activities, our students have participated in documentary screenings, debates and have met with domestic violence organisations to hear about their important work. They have also participated in a workshop by Associate Professor Ruth Lewis about her innovative research on gender violence and online abuse.

Following on from our successful blog ‘We Take Care of Business’ started by Elaine Campbell and Victoria Roper, Kayliegh and Ana have also set up a family law blog ‘A Family Affair’. Every day, for the 16 days of activism, students will post an article on topics related to gender violence. 

Student Law Office takes part in the Great Legal Quiz

8 November, 2017

This year, the Student Law Office supported National Pro Bono Week by raising over £380 for regional organisations promoting access to justice. 

More than 80 students and academics attended the Great Legal Quiz at Nancy’s Bordello in Newcastle. The proceeds will go to the North East Legal Support Trust and the Personal Support Unit.  

Ana Speed, the solicitor tutor leading National Pro Bono Week in the SLO said:

“Working with our partners to raise funds for pro-bono support is extremely important and something we do on a regular basis. Events like the Great Legal Quiz are also fun and rewarding for our students.”

Inaugural issue of the International Journal of Public Legal Education goes live

16 October, 2017

Edited by Student Law Office module leader Sarah Morse, International Journal of Public Legal Education aims to promote & support PLE development, and critically examine & share best practice. You can read the first issue here, and Sarah's editorial here

Launch of the UK Clinical Legal Education Organisation's website

22 September, 2017

The UK Clinical Legal Education Organisation (CLEO) has launched its first website. CLEO aims to foster, promote, and develop clinical legal education in all its forms. CLEO is based at Northumbria Law School, and has a number of trustees from Law Schools around the UK. You can visit the new website here

National Teaching Excellence Award for Student Law Office

30 January, 2017

The Student Law Office has won a national award in recognition of its work providing students with an excellent professional education through a project which offers free legal services to the public. We were one of 15 projects across the UK to be shortlisted for a CATE award, and one of just six to be named a winner. As part of the prize the Student Law Office has been awarded a grant of £15,000 to help disseminate its learning further.

Professor Stephanie Marshall, CEO of the HEA said:

“This year’s new Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence puts a spotlight on those who work together as a team to provide innovative and engaging opportunities, for the first time. Six universities were named as the winners for 2016, each gaining a contribution of £15,000 to further fund their development projects.
“The 15 finalists, including the six winners, presented exceptional entries. There is so much great material to share with the sector and HEA is delighted to play a leading role in disseminating those ideas.”

Top award for Student Law Office supervisor

9 January, 2017

Student Law Office supervisor Elaine Campbell has achieved a highly prestigious National Teaching Fellowship in the Higher Education Academy’s teaching awards.

The scheme celebrates excellent practice and outstanding achievement in learning and teaching in higher education. Elaine’s success underscores Northumbria’s commitment to providing students with an outstanding learning experience. She was awarded the fellowship in recognition of her contribution to the Student Law Office, which provides community-based pro-bono legal services, and for her role in developing Northumbria Law School’s Business and Commercial Law Clinic.

EXPERT COMMENT: How legal aid cuts are putting extra strain on family courts 

23 December, 2016

Kayliegh Richardson, Senior Lecturer in Family Law and Child Care Law, and Student Law Office supervisor,  writes about legal aid cuts for The Conversation.

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