Law Centre NI’s work across Northern Ireland in ensuring access to justice for all has been recognised with an award at the prestigious UK-wide Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards (LALYs).
The Law Centre won the Regional Legal Aid Firm/Not-for-Profit Agency category. It was nominated alongside the Family Law Company in Exeter and Watkins and Gunn in Cardiff.
Now in their 19th year, the LALYs are organised by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG) and celebrate the remarkable work of legal aid lawyers across the UK.
Honouring the contribution of the Law Centre at last night’s award ceremony, the LALY team highlighted “the scale of its ambition and the calibre of its lawyers”, including special mention for Law Centre social security expert, Owen McCloskey, who brought a test case successfully challenging the rules on benefits for people with terminal illness.
Director of the Law Centre NI, Ursula O’Hare, said:
“The team at Law Centre NI are absolutely thrilled with this award. It is a wonderful acknowledgement of the arc of the Law Centre’s work over forty years and the tireless work of an amazing team. The award recognises the vital role of law centres across the UK in ensuring access to justice for everyone. We are delighted that the difference that the Law Centre has made to people across Northern Ireland has been recognised by the LALYs”.
Professor of Law and Social Justice at Ulster University, Grainne McKeever, who nominated the Law Centre for the award, added:
“I am so proud of Law Centre NI’s achievement. They stand out with their commitment to using law to achieve social justice. The impact of this small law centre in achieving real change is now in the spotlight and I am absolutely delighted to see their amazing work recognised in this way”.