Ruth Mitchell

Student lawyers shortlisted for national award

Lawyers from the North East have been praised for their commitment to the local community after being short-listed for a national award.

Northumbria University’s Student Law Office has been short-listed for the Times Higher Education Awards 2008, in the category of outstanding contribution to the community. Representatives from the Law Office will be attending the awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Mayfair, in October.

The Student Law Office, based in Northumbria’s Law School, offers free legal advice and representation to the public. As part of their training, law students take on such cases under the supervision of qualified lawyers.

Director Kevin Kerrigan said: “We are delighted that the Student Law Office has been short-listed on the basis of its commitment to ensuring access to justice for local people who cannot otherwise afford legal advice and representation.”

The Student Law Office runs just like an ordinary solicitor’s practice. Although the service is free, it has specialist quality marks from the Legal Services Commission and has been helping people with legal problems since 1991, handling hundreds of cases each year.

Students are involved in all aspects of case preparation including interviewing clients, writing letters, helping to negotiate a settlement, advising on court procedures and even representation at court or tribunal hearings.

They deal with a wide range of queries including tenancy problems, employment disputes, criminal litigation, family break up and consumer protection. More recently they have introduced more specialist areas such as education law, small business advice and information rights.

The Student Law Office is currently seeking new cases and anyone with a legal problem can contact the Student Law Office on 0191 227 3909 or visit or website for further information www.studentlawoffice.co.uk.

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