National award for Strathclyde Law Clinic

Strathclyde Law Clinic student directors, Laura Nicol, Cara Hope and Paige Alexander

The student-run Law Clinic at the University of Strathclyde has been named a winner in the Herald’s Law Awards of Scotland, in recognition of its work in giving access to justice to communities in the Glasgow area.

The Clinic was named the winner of the Pro Bono award, which it has earned through extensive work in offering free representation and advice to people who are unable to obtain legal help by other means.

In the past year alone, the Clinic has dealt with more than 400 cases and its student volunteers dedicated 4171 hours to their casework.

Since its inception, the Clinic, which marks its 20th anniversary this year, has helped more than 4000 people in more than 6000 cases and has won or saved £2 million for its clients.

The Clinic is currently staffed by approximately 120 volunteer student advisors, 25 volunteer solicitors, three staff solicitors and one staff administrator.

Law Clinic Director Kate Laverty said: “The Law Clinic is delighted to have received this award. It recognises the incredible amount of work our volunteer students dedicate to their cases while juggling the many other demands on their time. They join the Clinic with a commitment to improve access to justice in their community and in doing so they face many challenges.

“We are so proud of their many achievements and to see them recognised in the legal community is a great boost for them and the Clinic as a whole. It also recognises the many pro bono hours our volunteer solicitors willingly give to advise those who would otherwise have no access to legal advice, which is all the more important at a time when legal aid is increasingly harder to access.”

The Clinic previously won the Herald Society Team of the Year Award three times and received the Evening Times Community Champion North West Public Service Award in 2018. In the Lawworks and Attorney General Awards, it has twice won Best Contribution by a Law School, received the Best Contribution by a Team of Students award in 2012 and has provided the Best Contribution by an Individual Student winner on four occasions.

Herald Editor Catherine Salmond said: “It is our pleasure to acknowledge and celebrate the vital contribution made by the legal sector in Scotland.

“These awards ensure that excellent quality of work being undertaken by Scotland’s most respected lawyers and law firms are recognised and rewarded.”