Sheffield Pro Bono Shortlisted in Regional Awards

shortlist logoThe School of Law is delighted to have been shortlisted for the Pro Bono Award in the 2017 Yorkshire Legal Awards. The Yorkshire Legal Awards bring together the region’s legal community to recognise and celebrate its myriad achievements and is now a key date in the profession’s calendar. 

The School has a strong and longstanding commitment to pro bono work. Approximately 200 students participate in internal pro bono schemes and those run by our external partners, whom we help to recruit students. Our pro bono work benefits the local community two-fold: by providing free legal assistance to the public and by developing the skills of our law students, many of whom remain in the Yorkshire region to train and work in the legal services sector.

On the impact of University of Sheffield support for the Sheffield Personal Support Unit (PSU), manager Jo Wardle says:

"Students from the University of Sheffield have shown tremendous dedication to supporting their local community by volunteering with PSU Sheffield; without their support, the service simply would not be able to run. Their professionalism, desire to learn and empathy given to clients has been exceptional; the university should be proud of their ambassadors".

James Cairns - MJRC Student Manager 2015-16

James Cairns, LLM Corporate and Commercial Law student and Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre (MJRC) volunteer, co-established the Miscarriages of Justice Review Network, a national website and database for the benefit of all students at Sheffield and other institutions working on similar pro bono schemes. James says:

"Volunteering with the MJRC has been the best thing to happen to me at university. It has opened up so many opportunities for me to meet interesting people and gain many new skills. I would wholeheartedly recommend students interested in criminal law and the justice system as a whole, to apply to take part in the MJRC. That is not to even mention that the work is vital to helping those who have been wrongfully convicted - an invaluable lifeline for those who have little other option left. I really cannot champion the project enough".

The awards have seen a 20% increase in entries for 2017, with 104 firms, institutes, organisations and individuals shortlisted for this year’s awards. An anticipated 700 legal professionals from across Yorkshire will come together on the night to celebrate the success of their peers and colleagues.

The awards will be judged by a panel from the Yorkshire legal community. Representatives from the School's pro bono schemes will join fellow guests and finalists at the awards ceremony on 12th October at Leeds’ New Dock Hall.