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Congratulations to our winner, Joseph Kelen

Future Legal Mind Winners 2020

This year we received some exceptional entries from talented law students and trainees, which made choosing a winner very difficult for our judging panel.

Huge congratulations go to our winner Joseph Kelen and our runners up, Mari Watkins and Janahan Sivanathan

Congratulations to the rest of our 2020 finalists, who made excellent submissions focusing on a variety of legal sectors.

Joseph will receive a £2,000 prize fund, while Mari and Janahan will each receive £500. All three will also be given the chance to take part in a mentoring session with Jonathan White and Adam Nabozny, both experienced lawyers within our team.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of Future Legal Mind 2020.

The competition will return in September 2020, so please check back then to find out how to enter Future Legal Mind 2021.

Our judges on this year's finalists

Our Future Legal Mind judges Jonathan White and Adam Nabozny were hugely impressed by the quality of essays and videos submitted by this year's finalists.

In this video, they give an overview of the 2020 competition and tell us what stood out to them about the runners up and winner.

Our Future Legal Mind judges Jonathan White and Adam Nabozny were hugely impressed by the quality of essays and videos submitted by this year's finalists.In this video, they give an overview of the 2020 competition and tell us what stood out to them about the runners up and winner.

WINNER: Joseph Kelen

Joseph has just completed his studies in Senior Status Law at the University of Cambridge and his aspiration is to become a barrister.

In his competition essay, the 25-year-old from Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, focused on an area of the law which he wanted to see changed - the laws around vagrancy.

Joseph argued these laws are “counterproductive” as they leave people with a criminal record which gives them “no choice but to be on the streets”, as they are then unable to try to get a job or access housing benefit.

Watch Joseph's video:

Joseph has just completed his studies in Senior Status Law at the University of Cambridge and his aspiration is to become a barrister.In his competition essay, the 25-year-old from Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, focused on an area of the law which he wanted to see changed - the laws around vagrancy.Joseph argued these laws are “counterproductive” as they leave people with a criminal record which gives them “no choice but to be on the streets”, as they are then unable to try to get a job or access housing benefit.

WINNER: Joseph Kelen

Joseph has just completed his studies in Senior Status Law at the University of Cambridge and his aspiration is to become a barrister.

In his competition essay, the 25-year-old from Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, focused on an area of the law which he wanted to see changed - the laws around vagrancy.

Joseph argued these laws are “counterproductive” as they leave people with a criminal record which gives them “no choice but to be on the streets”, as they are then unable to try to get a job or access housing benefit.


RUNNER UP: Mari Watkins

Mari is from Neath in Wales and is at the end of the second year of her law degree at Swansea University.

The 20-year-old aspires to become a barrister.

Mari's passion is for the great outdoors and land law, which was the focus of her competition essay.

Watch Mari's video:

Mari is from Neath in Wales and is at the end of the second year of her law degree at Swansea University.The 20-year-old aspires to become a barrister.Mari's passion is for the great outdoors and land law, which was the focus of her competition essay.Watch Mari's video:

RUNNER UP: Janahan Sivanathan

Janahan is coming to the end of the second year of his law degree at Birkbeck, University of London.

In his competition essay, the 27-year-old reflected on his own experiences of immigration law and outlined the changes he'd like to see made.

Watch Janahan's video:

Janahan is coming to the end of the second year of his law degree at Birkbeck, University of London.In his competition essay, the 27-year-old reflected on his own experiences of immigration law and outlined the changes he'd like to see made.Watch Janahan's video:

Our 2020 shortlist

Our judges were impressed by the high standard of essays submitted on a range of legal issues from our 2020 finalists.

Congratulations to the seven talented students and trainees below who were named on our shortlist this year.

Read more about our other finalists below.


Nazmin Akthar

Nazmin is in the second year of studying part-time for the LPC (Legal Practice Course) at the University of Law

The 33-year-old, from Bicester in Oxfordshire, has studied and worked in various legal roles. She is looking forward to qualifying as a solicitor and continuing her work in property law.

Watch Nazmin's video:

Nazmin is in the second year of studying part-time for the LPC (Legal Practice Course) at the University of Law. The 33-year-old, from Bicester in Oxfordshire, has studied and worked in various legal roles. She is looking forward to qualifying as a solicitor and continuing her work in property law.Watch Nazmin's video:

Priya Bahri

Priya is a trainee solicitor for the Disability Law Service, a legal charity specialising in benefits, community care, employment and housing law. Priya's role involves representing disabled adults, children and their carers in getting access to justice.

The 31-year-old's essay outlined some of the typical legal cases she faces in her role and called for social welfare law to be given a higher profile on legal training courses.

Watch Priya's video:

Priya is a trainee solicitor for the Disability Law Service, a legal charity specialising in benefits, community care, employment and housing law. Priya's role involves representing disabled adults, children and their carers in getting access to justice.The 31-year-old's essay outlined some of the typical legal cases she faces in her role and called for social welfare law to be given a higher profile on legal training courses.Watch Priya's video:

Conor Courtney

Conor is completing a Masters Degree in International Commercial Law at UCL

The 23-year-old from Dublin aims to become a solicitor and currently volunteers at the Chelsea Citizens Advice Bureau and the UCL Rare Dementia Legal Advice Clinic. Conor has recently become Senior Editor, Technology Law, Policy & Regulation, for SCL Student Bytes.

Watch Conor's video: 

Conor is completing a Masters Degree in International Commercial Law at UCL. The 23-year-old from Dublin aims to become a solicitor and currently volunteers at the Chelsea Citizens Advice Bureau and the UCL Rare Dementia Legal Advice Clinic. Conor has recently become Senior Editor, Technology Law, Policy & Regulation, for SCL Student Bytes.Watch Conor's video:

Henry Day

Henry, 22, is a third-year law student at the University of Cambridge and hails from Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

His aspiration is to become a legal academic, specialising in either international environmental law or international regulation of artificial intelligence.

In his essay, Henry wrote about his desire for the law to help bring about positive change globally.

Watch Henry's video:

Henry, 22, is a third-year law student at the University of Cambridge and hails from Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. His aspiration is to become a legal academic, specialising in either international environmental law or international regulation of artificial intelligence.In his essay, Henry wrote about his desire for the law to help bring about positive change globally.Watch Henry's video:

Jessica Hitchcock

Jessica is a Trainee Legal Executive at Ashton's Legal in Cambridge.

In her competition essay the 28-year-old, from Cambridge, wrote about her experience of being diagnosed with the health condition endometriosis and how she now champions women's health in the workplace.

Watch Jessica's video:

Jessica is a Trainee Legal Executive at Ashton's Legal in Cambridge. In her competition essay the 28-year-old, from Cambridge, wrote about her experience of being diagnosed with the health condition endometriosis and how she now champions women's health in the workplace.Watch Jessica's video:

Tamar Knight

Tamar is a first-year law student at Cardiff University.

The 20-year-old from Cornwall aspires to work as a solicitor and campaigner in environmental law, which was the focus of her competition essay.

Watch Tamar's video:

Tamar is a first-year law student at Cardiff University. The 20-year-old from Cornwall aspires to work as a solicitor and campaigner in environmental law, which was the focus of her competition essay.Watch Tamar's video:

Ben Williams

Ben is currently studying the LPC at the University of Law's Moorgate campus. In his competition essay the 25-year-old, from Hatfield in Hertfordshire, focused on access to justice and legal aid.

After completing his training as a solicitor, Ben aspires to take on a role working on access to information and legal advice.

Watch Ben's video:

Ben is currently studying the LPC at the University of Law's Moorgate campus. In his competition essay the 25-year-old, from Hatfield in Hertfordshire, focused on access to justice and legal aid.After completing his training as a solicitor, Ben aspires to take on a role working on access to information and legal advice.Watch Ben's video: