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Award-winning Law Clinic achieves new accolade


Jun 16, 2017

Teesside Law Clinic has won the Northern Law Awards’ Pro Bono/Community Initiative accolade after being shortlisted for a third consecutive year.

The award came as a result of the Law Clinic students’ dedication and commitment to the community, with the judges noting the Law Clinic’s work in offering advice to former steelworkers who were not in a union following the closure of the SSI site in Redcar and the Law Clinic’s tireless work on behalf of victims of historic abuse.

Early in 2016, a special meeting was called in Redcar by the Law Clinic for former SSI steelworkers in order to offer free legal advice, guidance and assistance from law students supervised by academics and lawyers. It came about after the Law Clinic was contacted by a number of former SSI workers with concerns about the consultation process involved when the Redcar site closed.

The Law Clinic offered advice to workers who weren’t part of a union while they worked at the company to see if they were eligible for a protective award.

Andrew Perriman, Senior Lecturer in Law, Teesside Law Clinic, said: “The Law Clinic was approached by a number of ex-employees from the former steelworks formerly owned by SSI, following a case heard in the employment tribunal.

“Teesside Law Clinic students looked at the issues raised to see if assistance could be offered to those ex-employees who were not members of a recognised trade union. We met with a number of those steelworkers affected by the closure to discuss their options and clarify some points of law.”

The Law Clinic, based in the University’s School of Social Sciences, Business & Law, has a dual purpose in providing law students with real practical experience of handling legal cases, while offering a service to the community in cases where people may otherwise find it difficult to afford legal advice and representation.

Andrew added: “No other organisation, educational institute or law firm can boast the accolade of being shortlisted as a finalist for three consecutive years in the Northern Law awards.”

Earlier this year the Law Clinic recently received national recognition in the LawWorks & Attorney General’s Student Pro Bono Awards 2017, achieving the award for best contribution by a team of students at the annual awards which were celebrated in the House of Commons in London.

Hosted by the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright MP, the awards celebrate the best pro bono activities undertaken by law students and law schools and the positive impact those activities have had on those who have been assisted.

The Law Clinic was also commended by the Attorney General in 2015 for its continued work on a legal challenge on behalf of a client to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in a bid to secure fair payouts for historic abuse victims.

Since its launch in 2012, Teesside Law Clinic has dealt with over 1,000 enquires including referrals from solicitors, the courts, the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and MPs. The team has also recovered or saved in excess of one and a half million pounds for clients.

By Emily