We are delighted to announce that King’s student Amanda Ignatia won Best individual contribution and the King’s Protea Clinic won Best new pro bono activity at the 2021 LawWorks and Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards.
We are very proud to have our students work recognised and celebrated. Both Amanda and the Protea Clinic’s work embody King’s Legal Clinic commitment to serving our community, both locally and internationally, on critical social justice issues. Amanda’s commitment to pro bono and social justice, in particular climate justice, is outstanding.– Shaila Pal, Director & Supervising Solicitor, King’s Legal Clinic
Amanda has made an outstanding contribution to King’s Law. She was the first student at King’s Legal Clinic to volunteer to take on cases remotely during the first lockdown and has worked tirelessly on a wide range of pro bono activities to ensure the accessibility of legal advice to those in need.
Amanda’s most innovative work was in her role as a student director of the King’s Human Rights and Environment Clinic (‘HRE Clinic’). The HRE Clinic, the first of its kind in the U.K, is led by Sue Wilman and focuses on public interest cases and research projects which aim to protect the environment and promote human rights. Amanda provided exemplary support to Sue Willman and King’s students working on HRE cases.
Examples of her casework include advising a south London community group concerned about high air pollution levels caused by traffic and conducting research for an amicus curia for a Ugandan NGO on the protection of Ugandan forests. Amanda successfully pitched the chosen theme for the Law Clinics Global Day of Action on Climate Justice: ‘Rights of Nature’ for which she co-organised a series of events that were attended by many students and leading legal experts from across the globe.
I am incredibly honoured and overjoyed to receive the Award. I am so proud to be part of such a brilliant group of people at King’s Legal Clinic, a huge thank you to Sue Wilman.– Amanda Ignatia
Following the Awards, Amanda said “I am extremely grateful to have her guidance and the support of everyone around me. I hope to continue contributing to pro bono, especially in promoting climate justice by protecting natural entities and helping vulnerable communities all over the world.”
The Protea Clinic is a collaborative project set up by King’s Legal Clinic, Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre (HFLC) and Hibiscus Initiatives (HI) to address the need for high-quality legal advice for vulnerable migrant females and to help identify and assist victims of modern slavery.
Many of the Protea Clinic’s clients come from complex backgrounds and experience mental health difficulties, language and cultural barriers, poverty, gender-based abuse, and involvement with the criminal justice system. These multiple disadvantages often mean that their immigration cases are complex and not easily resolved. The Protea clinic has allowed King’s students to investigate complex immigration cases and support vulnerable and disenfranchised clients through a holistic Clinical model.
Director & Supervising Solicitor at the King’s Legal Clinic, Shaila Pal, said, “The key to the success of the Protea Clinic is the dedication of our King’s students and the collaborative and holistic approach to the needs of our clients. Many of the clients we help exist on the peripheries of society, having fallen through the gaps in our legal system which has been devastated by years of cuts. The nature of the work is challenging, and we faced further obstacles due to the pandemic. We were able to overcome these challenges thanks to our students and the commitment and passion of our partners HFLC and HI.”
The awards presenter, the Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC, Attorney General, said, “The innovation, drive and spirit shown by all of those involved in the projects shortlisted for an award attests to the high quality of aspiring young lawyers. They have all demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and support for the community and are a credit to their universities and themselves. I wish everyone involved the very best in their future endeavours and offer my congratulations to all of the winners.”