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It’s six of the best from the Open Justice Centre

Six Law students have received an Open Justice Award for their contribution to pro bono. All the winners had taken part in Open Justice activities during the October 2017 presentation of ‘W360: Justice in Action’, making outstanding contributions to school-based legal education workshops and providing legal advice to the public in the Open Justice Clinic.

The best individual contribution award was shared by Lidia Dancu and Lucy Nguyen. Sharon O’Donnell, Lavinia Soobrayen, Christopher Stevens and Lindsey Porter won the best group contribution award.

Image of Lidia Dancu

The most rewarding experience of my Law degree has been my involvement with the pro-bono activities. I’ve always been passionate about access to justice but being able to involve myself and to contribute gave me the first-hand experience needed to complete my understanding of its complexity and how pro bono work fits into that.

I know with complete certainty now that I wish to practice law, which is not something I knew when I embarked on my degree. It has allowed me to start developing my own concept of what my professional identity is and the kind of lawyer I want to become. I have always been motivated primarily by the need to right wrongs and to contribute to social justice. Being able to become however small a cog in the access-to-justice machine has been not only personally rewarding but also satisfied that need we all have to be of service to our fellow man and to be connected in some positive way to our community.

Lidia Dancu
‘best individual contribution’ joint winner in the Open Justice Awards

The Open Justice Centre has developed pro bono projects in prisons and schools across the UK. It also offers a fully supervised online advice clinic in addition to externship projects with a range of legal charities.

Its Open Justice Blog explores what it is like to engage in pro bono legal work from some of those students involved.