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Investing in the future of social justice law

At the Law Centre, we are proud to be acting again as a host organisation for the Justice First Fellowship Scheme. This programme is funded by The Legal Education Foundation and works to bring legal apprentices into the area of social welfare law. The 2022 candidate is now the third Justice First Fellow that we have committed to training. We recognise the importance of investing in future talent in order to bolster services in social welfare law.

This year’s trainee solicitor is Jennifer Gorman. Jennifer commenced her training contract with the Law Centre in September 2022. Having obtained her qualifying law degree from Queen’s University Belfast, Jennifer has joined us having previously working as a paralegal in the public sector. She is pleased that her apprenticeship at the Law Centre will allow her to progress her career in the specialism of social welfare law. Jennifer will undertake in-office training in our three key practice areas – social security, employment and immigration law. As well as the in-office training, Jennifer will also commence academic training at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies.

A key aspect of the Justice First Fellowship programme is that fellows are supported by their host organisation to devise and run their own project. The aim of the project is to increase and ensure access to justice for the public. Since commencing her training contract, Jennifer has taken a keen interest in studying the current projects in place at the Law Centre and has already undertaken preparations for her own project, which will be in the area of immigration.

Jennifer Gorman, Law Centre NI’s Justice First Fellow said: “I have long been interested in training to better understand and assist in social welfare law. This interest originated from both personal and practical involvement with social welfare matters, where I could see social needs and desired to have the expertise to help. The Law Centre has been a welcoming organisation that has demonstrated their strong commitment to social welfare matters and access to justice. I have enjoyed learning from their skilled and dedicated staff and look forward to all that I will do and learn as my training contract progresses”.