The College of Law in Birmingham continues to attract attention for its impressive pro bono activities as its free employment advice clinic is nominated for an award by pro bono charity LawWorks.
The news comes just weeks after Bar Vocational students from the Birmingham centre won the ‘Best New Pro Bono Activity’ category of the national Attorney General Student Awards 2009. The award was presented by Baroness Scotland at the House of Lords in recognition of their voluntary work with the Birmingham TUC Centre for the Unemployed.
In these latest LawWorks awards, the College-run Birmingham Employment Advice Clinic (BEAC) is one of just four schemes to be nominated in the ‘Best Contribution by a Partnership’ category.
The clinic is held fortnightly in The College of Law’s Legal Advice Centre. It enables members of the local community to receive free, initial employment advice and assistance from qualified, specialist employment lawyers working on a voluntary basis. The clients are given written advice at the clinic and are referred on for further help if necessary.
College students assist the qualified lawyers in a range of activities including preparing files, running the clinic sessions and carrying out research.
The BEAC is a LawWorks clinic and a partnership between the College and local lawyers, who are members of the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA). Over the past year 14 lawyers from 10 firms and chambers in Birmingham have provided help to nearly 100 clients with employment issues.
Becky Parker, an ELA lawyer and Pro Bono Co-ordinator for The College of Law, Birmingham, manages the clinic and supervises involvement by students.
Becky Parker, Pro Bono Co-ordinator for The College of Law, Birmingham
She said: “I am delighted that the BEAC has been short-listed for this award. There is a huge demand for the service and the dedicated lawyer volunteers assisted by our enthusiastic students provide vital employment advice and assistance to individuals in the community, who would otherwise struggle to find the help they need.”
The award winners will be announced at the LawWorks Summer Ball taking place on June 11 at the Inner Temple in London.
The BEAC is just one of The College of Law’s many pro bono projects, which are aimed at people from the local community who may otherwise be unable to afford access to legal advice.