Attending the LawWorks Student Pro Bono Conference in M...

Attending the LawWorks Student Pro Bono Conference in Manchester

Student Pro Bono Conference

Written by Gemma Grant and Olivia Kettleborough – Student Representatives for Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre and NTU LEX Student Law Society

On 11 November 2017, we attended the LawWorks Pro Bono Conference at the University of Manchester on behalf of Nottingham Law School and the NLS Student Pro Bono Committee.

The event started with a drinks reception where we took the opportunity to sign up to an interactive workshop event happening with StreetLaw. This workshop was ran by BPP Pro Bono in the afternoon. We decided to sign up to this session because we believed that it would be the most insightful for us and we haven’t had the chance to take part in any projects in this area before.

During the day, we were lucky enough to sit in on two interesting and informative panel talks, the first of which was chaired by Dinah Crystal OBE. Within this panel, Dinah and five other panellists discussed the Pro Bono initiatives and projects taking place in Manchester. The other panel was chaired by Clare Johnson, Head of Clinics Support and Development for LawWorks. Clare, along with five other panellists, including our very own Centre Director Nick Johnson, discussed new frontiers for Student Law Clinics and Clinical Legal Education. Both these panels were hugely enlightening and gave student delegates some great ideas to take back to their own universities.

The highlight of the day was listening to the keynote speaker, Edgar Cahn, a distinguished legal scholar, former counsel, former speech writer to Robert F. Kennedy and the creator of Time Banking. Mr. Cahn was extremely knowledgeable and an inspiration to the legal sector. It was an honour to have the opportunity to hear him speak and even meet him after the event to talk in detail about a number of issues. We also agreed to keep in contact via email with Mr Cahn and keep him updated about the ways in which the Student Committee could plan to incorporate the idea of Time Banking into the Legal Advice Centre at NTU.

Time Banking is a principle which brings communities together and encourages people to help others. The more people who get involved by sharing their time and skills the better! Time Banking takes every day acts of kindness and recognises them as important contributions to the happiness and wellbeing of everyone in society. We believed this would be a fantastic idea to implement into the Centre as it will get the clients we assist, more involved, whilst also giving back to the community.

The StreetLaw workshop proved to be a fun and informative session.  It gave us the chance to talk to  students and staff members from other Legal Advice Centres around the country about our different ideas and initiatives and how we are also working to improve our Pro Bono services. Sharing and developing ideas together has certainly given us a lot of things to think about and has allowed us to bring away a number of ideas.

The opportunity to attend this event was invaluable for us and we would definitely recommend attending the event to other law students who are as interested in Pro Bono and its development as we are.

Thank you to the NLS Legal Advice Centre for giving us this opportunity and we hope to be able to attend this event again and other similar events in the future!

About the author

NTU Law Sandwich student currently on placement at the NLS Legal Advice Centre.


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