School of Law cleans up at Making a Difference Awards

The University of Manchester School of Law scooped five prizes in four categories at the Making a Difference Award, recognising the real-world impact the School is making on the community and beyond.

The University of Manchester School of Law was one of the big winners at the Making a Difference Awards on 2 May 2019, which recognises the outstanding achievements of students, staff, alumni and external partners.Image of the two awards received by Saba Mirshafiei for the Pathways to Law Scheme, in the category ‘Outstanding contribution to Widening Participation'.

Scooping five prizes across four categories, the School was recognised for outstanding teaching innovation in social responsibility, outstanding national and international public and community engagement, outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability, and outstanding contribution to widening participation, taking home both the judges award and the public vote in this category.

This success demonstrates the School’s commitment to social responsibility and social justice, and harnessing its expertise to contribute to the social responsibility priorities of the University of Manchester.

Criminology academics Dr Emily Turner, Dr Rose Broad and Dr Caroline Miles were the first winners of the night, taking home with prize for Outstanding Teaching Innovation in Social Responsibility for their successful Undergraduate programme Learning Criminology Inside, which gave a student cohort the chance to participate in teaching sessions with inmates at HMP Risley.

The second success for the School was awarded to Fintan Walker and the team at the Legal Advice Centre who were Highly Commended in the category of Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Sustainability for their paperless initiative. In 2018, in a bid to reduce their impact on the environment, the Legal Advice Centre went completely paperless, using an software-based case management system to store files electronically rather than on paper.

Law academics Professor Claire McGourlay and Fintan Walker were named winners of the Outstanding National and International Public and Community Engagement Initiative award for their work on the Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre. The MJRC gives students the opportunity to investigate cases of people convicted of serious crimes who are maintaining their innocence. The Centre at the School of Law is one of only four such centres in Law Schools nationwide.

Finally, Widening Participation Officer Saba Mirshafiei was a double award winner on the night, winning both the judges award and the first ever public vote in the category Outstanding Contribution to Widening Participation for her leadership of the Sutton Trust-funded Pathways to Law scheme at the University of Manchester. The top tiers of the legal profession are drawn from a very narrow range of social backgrounds, the Pathways scheme aims to widen access to the profession for those students who might never have considered a legal career, raising their aspirations and confidence, and equipping them with the skills to study for a degree in law.

The School of Law also celebrated the success of four students who were awarded prizes at the Volunteer of the Year awards for their dedication to volunteering opportunities within the local community.

These awards demonstrate the School’s commitment to social responsibility and the dedication of staff and students to making a difference in the community.

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