Justice Hub awarded for services to the community

The Justice Hub at the University of Manchester has been recognised for their Pro Bono work within the community at the Manchester Legal Awards in 2021, hosted by Manchester Law Society.

Students in the School of Social Sciences have the opportunity to work with qualified legal practitioners and academic staff to provide pro bono legal advice to members of the public, who are not able to access free legal aid elsewhere.

In summer 2020, the Justice Hub ran the virtual vacation scheme, which saw 40 law students dedicate their free time to volunteer to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Students who took part in the scheme produced short information videos, aimed at advising the public in key legal areas that were impacted by the pandemic, such as housing, employment law and child arrangement.

The programme was so successful that the students involved also presented a further webinar for carers of people living with dementia, which was attended by over 100 people and is available online.

Manchester Law Society is made up of approximately 3600 members and supports legal associations and educational networks across Manchester. The Society hosts the annual Manchester Legal Awards, this year celebrating the 12th annual awards ceremony. The Awards are an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the legal talent within the region of Manchester.

The Justice Hub was named a winner in the category ‘Best Pro Bono/Community Initiative of the Year’ after moving their services online to continue providing access to justice, despite COVID-19 restrictions.

Following the success of the scheme, the Justice Hub are now organising the next vacation scheme to take place this summer.

Justice Hub Director, Dr Phil Drake, said, “Giving back to the local community and creating lawyers and professionals of the future with a passion for assisting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged are two of the Justice Hub’s primary goals. It is therefore fantastic to be recognised by such a prestigious organisation as the Manchester Law Society for the work that our staff, students and volunteer lawyers have undertaken over the last year.”

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