Below is a summary of our eight projects. For more information on each one, click on the links to the left of this page!
Working with Nottingham primary schools, Aspire runs interactive events to introduce the concepts of human rights, justice, stereotyping, women's rights, 'what is law?', and voting & elections. Volunteers carry out role-plays, games, poster-making and problem-solving activities.
Aspire has received fantastic feedback from our student volunteers, who have found the project extremely fun, engaging and a great addition to their university activities.
Project Head: Imaan Miah
Junior Lawyers Against Poverty is an offshoot of Oxfam’s Lawyers Against Poverty project that aims to relieve poverty through improving knowledge of legal rights, alleviating the lack of access to justice affecting poor, improving recruitment and retention of women in law and remedying the lack of access to resources for Law students. The project runs talks by notable lawyers and Oxfam figures, facilitates student fundraising, and provides the opportunity for students to assist and correspond with students in under-developed countries. The project is also one of a select few universities to engage with the Lawyers Against Poverty blog, essay competition and opportunity to participate in an exciting pro bono internship in a foreign country.
Lawyers Against Poverty Website: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/lawyers-against-poverty
Within the Pro Bono Negotiation Competition students work in pairs, following a given scenario, with the aim of achieving the best result for their fictitious client. Participants develop key skills, for example, teamworking ability, innovation, problem-solving, communication skills and interpersonal skills. Such skills are also very sought-after by employers!
There are two separate competitions that run consecutively throughout the year; one for first-year students and one for second, third and final-year students.
If you have any questions about the competition, do let a Committee member or Ryan know!
Project Head: Ryan Damasus Ng
OutLAW is one of the hugely successful projects in the Pro Bono Society. We are an outreach project that aims to increase participation of students from underrepresented backgrounds at secondary state schools, and at colleges. OutLAW volunteers deliver a variety of workshops that help students in applying to university, gaining employability skills and give them an insight into the legal career. We conduct an Inter-school Mock Trial Competition where volunteers will help students prepare for the competition and act as judges and jury during the final stages. OutLAW also delivers a Law Insight Day, where students have the opportunity to visit campus, take part in mock-lectures, as well as a variety of workshops. OutLAW is an amazing opportunity for you to volunteers with secondary school students to demystify the legal career and enable them to consider university and other post-18 options. To participate within the project, you must attend one of our safeguarding training sessions before you volunteers with OutLAW or Aspire.
Project Co- Heads: Ian Chu and Anagha Jadhav
The Pro Bono Society also hosts several events for its members across the year. These have included a vacation scheme workshop, and talks by various firms about what pro bono means in pratice, a Kind Campus campaign to promote kindness and welfare at Nottingham University (for prizes!) and an Ice Skating Social. Last year, we started up an external mentoring scheme, as well as holding more socials (including a food crawl!) and a trip to the Royal Courts of Justice for you all to get to know eachother. We wish to continue that this year, as well as having more cultural socials such as Thanksgiving and 'potluck' dinners. We also want to have more formal events like the Venetian Ball last year, whilst getting together as a Society more informally too!
We also manage the University-recognised Pro Bono Achievement Award (given to students who have dedicated a significant portion of their time to Pro Bono work - more on that and our Project Head Awards can be found to the left).
The StreetLAW project is one of the most diverse projects that the Pro Bono Society offers, working alongside a range of projects and organisations to fundraise and deliver opportunities at varying levels of responsibility and commitment.
StreetLAW facilitates the recruitment process for the Personal Support Unit at Nottingham Crown Court. The unrivalled opportunity to be a Personal Support Unit volunteer gives selected students the opportunity to procedurally and emotionally assist litigants-in-person going through the court process. It is a fantastic opportunity for students wishing to improve their client skills and gain a first-hand experience of the court. For the first time at the University, StreetLAW is also working alongside the inFrinGeMent Project, Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Centre for Criminal Appeals. The latter gives ten students the unparalleled opportunity to fully investigate a miscarriage of justice case on behalf of the wrongfully convicted prisoner and draft an application to the Criminal Case Review Commission.
Project Head: Hannah Harrison
The Howard League for Penal Reform runs a huge variety of events including: guest speeches from ex-prisoners and criminal justice professionals, topical and engaging debates and panel events, trips to high-security prisons and Young Offenders Institutes and National Howard League events in London featuring leadership training and speeches on the most topical criminal justice issues facing the UK. The project is affiliated with the national Howard League Organisation, which acts as a campaigns/activist group, charity and legal player for all things related to crime, criminal justice and the prison system in the UK.
Project Heads: Hannah McGreevy and Megan Firth
Howard League for Penal Reform Website: http://howardleague.org
A2J (Access to Justice) Innovations is our newest project, which explores new and innovative ways of promoting access to justice. The aim is to engage with the public and teach them about their legal rights and/or access to justice, using a variety of platforms, such as modern technology, to achieve this. In the next academic year, the project hopes to set up a legal clinic within the university. The project’s aim is eventually to set up a ‘Technology Clinic’ within the University of Nottingham whereby students can discover and utilise new methods of learning about their rights and ultimately educate young people in an exciting and stimulating way. We are currently exploring ways to inform students and the community of their tenancy rights.
The Unbarred Project involves groups of students providing current prisoners with presentations on gaining employment upon leaving prison and help with calculating disclosing periods under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, hoping to prevent reoffending. The project currently has a permanent place in the rehabilitation schemes of HMP Whatton, HMP Sudbury, and HMP North Sea Camp, along with visiting other prisons across England. Volunteers also aid the prisoners in creating their CVs and preparing for integration back into the working world through interview workshops. The project is extremely unique and a fantastic opportunity for students from all disciplines to enjoy volunteering work exclusive to the Pro Bono Society at Nottingham.
Project Heads: Kadell Grey and Fatimah Khawaja
For any enquiries about the Pro Bono Society, including our Projects, please email firstname.lastname@example.org