A national award to recognise young legal talent has been launched today by National Accident Helpline.
The Future Legal Mind award, which is being launched in partnership with Lawyer 2B magazine, will offer two law students, one undergraduate and one postgraduate, the chance to win £5,000 towards their studies in 2015.
The winners will also be given the opportunity to complete a work experience placement at either the Manchester or London office of nationwide solicitor firm Colemans-ctts. Entrants will be asked to submit an essay of up to 1,000 words on a legal question, and the winning essays will be published in full on the Lawyer2B website.
Undergraduates will be asked to answer the following question: "If the justice system were a blank canvas and you had the power to structure it, what would you do in terms of access to justice?"
Those looking to take on a postgraduate law degree (including a Legal Practice Course, Graduate Diploma in Law, Common Professional Examination or CILEX qualification) will be asked: "How do you think the provision of legal services should change over the next 10 years? How would this affect access to justice?"
The essays will be judged by a panel of legal and business experts, including:
- Russell Atkinson, CEO of NAHL Group plc
- Jonathan White, Legal Director of National Accident Helpline
- Janet Tilley, National Managing Partner at Colemans-ctts
- Richard Simmons, Editor of Lawyer 2B.
The award is open to all UK-resident university students currently pursuing a legal qualification at either undergraduate or post-graduate level.
Entries are welcomed from today. The closing date for entries is Thursday 5 February 2015. Shortlisted entries will be announced in early March 2015 and the winners will be announced on 30 March 2015.
Russell Atkinson, CEO of National Accident Helpline, said:
This is an opportunity for students to really express their understanding of the justice system, showcase their desire to make a difference and gain a foot up in their journey towards joining the legal profession.
We know that many talented law students find the cost of studying prohibitive, and we're keen to give a helping hand to someone who otherwise might struggle to progress in their career.
We want to help ensure that young lawyers with the talent and original thinking to make a real contribution to the future of our legal system aren't prevented from entering it by lack of funds.
Janet Tilley, National Managing Partner, Colemans-ctts, said:
National Accident Helpline has a longstanding commitment to access to justice, and I, along with all the judges, am looking forward to reading young legal minds' thoughts on how to secure it in the future.
Our justice system is world-renowned, but it will only remain so if run by people who are committed to making justice available to all.
Richard Simmons, Editor of Lawyer 2B, said:
Aspiring lawyers now have to be more clued up than ever before about the legal profession.
This award is a great opportunity for them both to demonstrate their knowledge and, just as importantly, express their opinion about how the justice system should look in the future.
I am very much looking forward to seeing what they have to say.
Further details, including the entry form, are available here.