Streetlaw students shortlisted for award
A team of students who have been working for free to help people navigating the employment tribunal process have been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.
Supported by the Attorney General, the LawWorks Pro Bono awards celebrate the best free activities by law students and law schools across the UK and the positive impact they have. University of Salford students have been shortlisted for the team award.
To achieve such recognition the team from the University of Salford Law School and BPP University worked together to deliver an innovative project to unrepresented people in the Greater Manchester area, with support of the Regional Employment Judge, the Manchester Employment Tribunal and the conciliation body ACAS.
The students have been running free information sessions for members of the public in the Employment Tribunal, to find out more about employment tribunals and what to expect as they go through the system themselves, meaning they are better prepared and able to cope in what can be a very intimidating environment.
The aim is to demystify the process and hopefully make people going through the system feel more confident, having a better understanding of procedures and what documents to use. Students Allan Simpson, Maureen Lewis, Ciara Fogarty, Fatema Millad, Saba Hussain, Chioma Njemanze and Prody Mpambo were among the group from Salford involved in the project.
Law lecturer and solicitor Christine Peacock, who organised the Streetlaw project at the University of Salford, said: “It is a fantastic achievement by everyone involved that these students have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award. They have taken the challenge of helping people most in need in their stride, and have made a real difference. It helps to fill the information gap when users of the Tribunal are unable to access legal representation.
“This is a very important service to help people understand what happens in an employment tribunal, making it less mysterious and taking some of the fear away for people who may feel unsupported or not really understand how the whole process works.
“It’s also great experience for our students, who develop their skills and knowledge and make some useful contacts through meeting Employment Judges and ACAS officials.”
Student Prody Mpambo, who wants to become a solicitor after finishing his studies at Salford, said: “Getting involved with this project was a great opportunity to learn something new and to really help people out.
“To be shortlisted for this award shows that the hard work has paid off, and it also shows the difference to people’s lives that the project has made.”
North West Employment Judge David Franey supported the nomination. He said: “The presentations are of great benefit to members of the public who attend them. The students offer clear and accurate information about the preparation required for an Employment Tribunal hearing, and what happens at the Employment Tribunal hearing itself.
“We support this project because it benefits the public, the judiciary, the HMCTS administrative staff, and of course the students.”
The winners will be announced later this month. The awards are usually presented by the Attorney General in person, but due to lockdown caused by the coronavirus the announcement will take place online.
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