days to deadline of 20th May 2011

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The National Training Awards Press Office will send out press releases following the announcement of the regional finalists, regional ceremonies and the Gala.

The Press Office will also be happy to provide comments from spokespeople at The National Training Awards and Government for you to include in your own releases.

And don't forget to include any press releases on your website, intranet and in your company newsletter to ensure your exciting news reaches all your stakeholders.


Student lawyers help hundreds through innovative scheme

An award-winning scheme designed to give law students real hands-on experience has helped hundreds of people in the process.

Year three and year four students from Northumbria Law School were given the opportunity to practice law, handling real cases and real clients, through the School’s Student Law Office.

The Student Law Office, which is designed to operate like a real solicitor’s office, was set up to enable law students to practice law with the help and supervision of experienced lawyers. Through the office, members of the public and businesses can seek legal advice and representation.

“The learning approach is referred to as clinical legal education, an innovative but increasingly important methodology that requires students to learn by doing real case studies under close supervision” said the School’s Associate Dean, Kevin Kerrigan.

Students dealt with cases relating to housing, employment, welfare rights, consumer protection, criminal appeals and miscarriages of justice, family and business issues.

Students were grouped into ‘firms’ of six and were trained to interview clients without a qualified lawyer present. But to ensure quality and professionalism, the ‘firms’ met with their supervisors on a weekly basis to review cases and one-to-one where necessary. All student work was checked by an expert supervisor before being used on behalf of clients.  Each student was also required to create a personal portfolio of work which included written reflections regarding their development.

180 year three students and 170 year four students took part in the programme, which cost the school more than half a million pounds to implement. They were graded for development of professional level legal skills, appreciation of the ethical duties of the lawyer, practical understanding of the operation of the legal system, client care, teamwork and personal reflection.

A total of 632 new enquiries were received from members of the public and businesses and 377 cases were conducted. The students were also involved in an outreach scheme with Age Concern and worked with housing charity, Shelter. Strong relationships were built with legal firms and Victim Support and back in March Northumbria Law School was awarded the Attorney General’s National Pro Bono Award for the Best Contribution by a Law School.

What’s more, all students completed the course and are now fully competent in Legal Practice Skills. A review of the student feedback also showed that many found the experience invaluable. One anonymous participant commented, “It reminded me of why I wanted to study law in the first place.”

The scheme is now a permanent feature of Northumbria Law School’s Exempting Law Degree.

Entry name: The Student Law Office – Training future lawyers through real life experience
Location: Northumbria University, School of Law, City Campus East, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST
Entry no: e101202
Region: NE
For further information contact:
Tom York – Senior PR Executive 020 7429 2828 or tom.york@ukskills.org.uk

Antonia Lee – Marketing Manager 020 7429 2825 or antonia.lee@ukskills.org.uk


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