Former College of Law student Camilla Graham Wood has been shortlisted for an Attorney General award for her voluntary work defending human rights both in the UK and overseas.
Camilla, aged 25, is one of just four students from around the country to be shortlisted in the ‘Best Contribution by an Individual Student’ category of the national Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards 2009.
he nomination is in recognition of her tireless voluntary work helping people, who would otherwise be unable to access legal advice, both during her time studying the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at The College of Law in Bloomsbury and afterwards.
Camilla helping out at an aids orphanage in Phnom Penh in 2006 while working in Cambodia with the Cambodian Housing Rights Task Force to stop forced evictions.
During her LPC studies from 2007 to 2008 she volunteered for the Prisoners’ Advice Service giving legal advice to inmates in England and Wales about prison rules, conditions of imprisonment and human rights issues and helping women prisoners to have contact with their children.
She also volunteered at a day centre in London helping homeless people with their legal problems and, through The College of Law’s Legal Advice Centre, researched employment law on behalf of people, who had lost their jobs.
Her international pro bono activities included work with the Law Society’s International Action Team carrying out extensive research into the plight of human rights defenders in Colombia and briefing lawyers, who travelled to Bogotá on a human rights fact-finding mission.
From September to November 2008 Camilla worked at the Caribbean Centre for Human Rights in Trinidad, where she assisted in appeals lodged by Death Row prison inmates, by conducting conferences with inmates, taking instructions and reporting advice. She is now volunteering in the human rights department of Justice.
The results of the awards, organised by pro bono charity LawWorks, will be announced by Attorney General Baroness Scotland on March 31 at the House of Lords.
Camilla said: “Human rights pro bono work is incredibly rewarding, challenging and worthwhile. I am inspired by those who represent the most disadvantaged in society. Pro bono work has given me the chance to work side by side with these hard-working lawyers and I am committed to follow in their footsteps protecting human rights and upholding civil liberties. I was flattered to be short-listed for the award and to be considered amongst the other students who have done fantastic pro bono work. I intend to continue with pro bono work and one day hope to be a successful human rights lawyer.”
Sara Chandler, Director of Pro Bono Services at The College of Law, Bloomsbury, said: "It is great to meet Camilla, who can be relied on to carry out whatever tasks she undertakes with enthusiasm and dedication. Her commitment to helping other people is enormous. If Camilla was helping you, you would be confident that everything would turn out all right."