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Ulster University course claims top all-island award

Pictured at the GradIreland Awards are (l-r) Ulster University’s Dr Gráinne McKeever and Dr John McCord (second from right) with Bryan Durkan, HRM Recruitment; and Ailbhe Lee, GradIreland.

A unique programme designed by Ulster University, sponsored by Allen & Overy and the Department for Justice, has been recognised as the Postgraduate Law Course of the Year at a prestigious all-island awards event.

The LLM in Clinical Legal Education, based at the internationally respected Ulster University Law Clinic, claimed the title at the GradIreland Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards, in recognition of its outstanding contribution to education and employment.

It is the only course of its kind in the UK and Ireland to enable students to gain practical experience of handling legal cases under the supervision of experienced law school staff while developing specialist skills in social security and employment law.

Dr Gráinne McKeever, Director of Ulster University’s Law Clinic said: “The GradIreland award recognises the hard work of staff and students in developing the LLM in Clinical Legal Education, which provides the only university-based Law Clinic in Ireland.

“Our success is also testament to our strong partnerships with our placement partner at Law Centre NI, with our external advisory group and with our scholarship sponsors – the Department of Justice and Allen & Overy.

“We are grateful for the generous support we have received and are delighted to add this impressive accolade to awards that have recognised the research expertise, teaching quality, and pro bono work of our LLM Clinical Legal Education team.”

Last year Allen & Overy created a three-year scholarship with the course that has helped three students to meet tuition costs and engage more fully in efforts to improve access to justice.

Jane Townsend, partner and Head of Allen & Overy’s Legal Services Centre in Belfast, said: “Our congratulations go the staff and students at the Legal Clinic. Their unique approach to developing research capacity and growing capacity with the academic and voluntary sectors has been very impressive. They deserve recognition for their passion and dedication to social justice.

“Across our law firm, we believe strongly in using our skills to encourage young talent and support efforts to bring justice to people who may otherwise be denied it. Through the scholarship with Ulster University, we are securing positive outcomes for both goals.”

The Allen & Overy Scholarship is funded through the firm’s Global Foundation which makes donations to charitable causes around the world.  In its first year, the scholarship will cover the full costs of all fees for three students and provide maintenance support for one student.

To find out more, visit www.ulster.ac.uk/lawclinic/