We are proud to announce that GMLC has been shortlisted for the Legal Aid Practitioners Group’s LALY Awards 2018 in the Legal Aid Firm/Not for Profit Agency category, sponsored by The Law Society.
After the closure of South Manchester Law Centre in 2014 we said: if enough people wanted a law centre, there would be one. In September 2016 we opened the doors of 159 Princess Road to the public. There was one. We have never looked back, both in terms of the vital services we offer to residents from all ten boroughs, but also in terms of our campaigns.
We campaign for free face to face legal advice services and legal representation across Greater Manchester, against legal aid cuts and Universal Credit, not just a meaningful post implementation review of LASPO, but restoration of the full scope of legal aid plus more and many social welfare and housing issues. We state that free access to justice is as important as the right to health and education.
And we are proud to inspire and educate the next generation of social welfare lawyers with our work with students. Just recently, on 25th April, our GMLC team came back from the LawWorks Student Pro Bono Awards 2018. Our Legal Advocacy Support Project (LASP) with Manchester Metropolitan University was shortlisted for Contribution of a Team of Students award. Samantha Maher, one of our LASP students, was shortlisted for Best Contribution by an Individual.
After reading over 800 pages of nominations, the LALY judges met in London earlier this week to make their selections for the 2018 awards.
We feel honoured that yet again our amazing volunteers’ and staffs’ hard work is acknowledged in this way.
Two Law Centres shortlisted for legal aid award
Wednesday, May 2nd 2018
Two Law Centres have been shortlisted for the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY) awards, both in the Best Firm/Not-for-Profit category.
The LALYs are awarded every summer by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG). They recognise achievements in the field of publicly funded legal work. They are an annual highlight for the access to justice community, and Law Centres and their lawyers are regularly represented among the winners.
Ealing Law Centre has opened its doors in April 2013, on the very day that the LASPO Act, introducing massive cuts to civil legal aid, came into effect. Its founder is Law Centre solicitor Sue James, a recent LALY winner in her own right, who was fed up with her home borough being an ‘advice desert’ and took the initiative. In the five years since its establishment, Ealing Law Centre has grown impressively, diversified its services and expanded its premises in Northfields.
Greater Manchester Law Centre was established two years ago following a local public campaign for establishing a local Law Centre. Manchester had been served by several Law Centres, all of which closed following the government’s legal aid cuts. The Law Centre, based in Moss Side, enjoys the patronage of Michael Mansfield QC and actor Maxine Peake. It operates several pro bono tie-ins with local firms and lawyers, as well as with Manchester Metropolitan University’s law school, for which it was a recent finalist in the LawWorks Student Pro Bono Awards.
Nimrod Ben-Cnaan, head of policy and profile at the Law Centres Network, commented:
“The shortlisting of Ealing and Greater Manchester Law Centres for the LALYs is fantastic news. It recognises not just their excellence as law practices but also their defiance and perseverance in the face of a hostile policy environment. We wish them every success at the awards ceremony this summer.”
The full shortlist for the 2018 LALYs is available here.
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