Two of the country's sharpest legal prospects have walked away with a £5,000 prize, as well as the prestigious title of Future Legal Mind 2015, as National Accident Helpline hosted a celebratory awards lunch at Lincoln's Inn in central London.
Amy Loughery, an undergraduate student at the University of York, and Lukas Hamilton Eddy, a postgraduate student at City University London, will each receive £5,000 towards their legal studies as well as a much-coveted placement at leading solicitor firm Colemans-ctts.
On the announcement Amy Loughery, winner in the undergraduate category, said: "I'm absolutely elated to have won this award, and I'm very much looking to the work experience placement Colemans-ctts have planned for me this summer. The whole experience has given me a real boost."
Lukas Hamilton Eddy, postgraduate winner, added: "I'm absolutely delighted to have won. I'd like to thank the judging panel as well as my friends and family who have supported me to date."
The pair fought off stiff competition from four shortlisted candidates in each category, all of whom submitted outstanding essays on the vital issue of access to justice. Following a nail-biting contest, Victoria Rowley, an undergraduate student at the University of Nottingham, and Christopher Rush, a postgraduate student at Bristol University, were both highly commended by the expert panel of judges.
The winners were revealed at a three-course awards lunch in the Old Court Room at the historic Lincoln's Inn in Chancery Lane.
Future Legal Mind seeks to reward the bright young legal minds of tomorrow, with entrants asked to demonstrate a combination of original thinking and sharp legal insight, as well as a passion for access to justice, through a 1,000-word essay. The competition was launched last year by National Accident Helpline, in association with Colemans-ctts and Lawyer2B.com.
Students can already register their interest in next year's competition, with applications set to open later this year. For more information on Future Legal Mind 2016, please visit this page to register now.
Russell Atkinson, CEO of National Accident Helpline and chair of the judging panel, said:
"I would like to congratulate the winners on their tremendous achievement. The quality of this year's entries was unbelievably high, but the belief Amy and Lukas showed in the principle of access to justice really shone through.
National Accident Helpline is absolutely committed to ensuring our customers are able to secure access to justice and we are delighted that so many future high-fliers share this sentiment. Both winners are fully deserving of this award, and I hope the £5,000 prize will give them the boost they need to kick-start a successful and rewarding legal career."
Janet Tilley, National Managing Partner at Colemans-ctts, said:
"We have been thrilled to team up with National Accident Helpline to provide this exceptional opportunity for young lawyers. The judging panel was blown away by the wealth of talent uncovered, and we are already excited to see what next year's entrants have to offer.
Amy and Lukas can expect their placements at Colemans-ctts to give each of them the best possible start to their careers in law, and we look forward to welcoming them to our Manchester and London offices."