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Refugee Law Clinic 'highly commended' for award


University of London’s Refugee Law Clinic (RLC) has been 'highly commended' in the Legal Business Awards 2023.

The RLC team at the ceremony

The commendation was in the prestigious Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Programme of the Year category.

Structured as an inter-collegiate University of London project, the RLC is a legal service that offers support and guidance to appeal-rights exhausted asylum seekers who wish to raise new grounds for protection with the Home Office.

The RLC was initiated and developed by its linked academic centre at the University, the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI). The RLI is a leading academic centre in the UK working on law and policy related to international refugee protection.

The service is supervised by two expert lawyers and is a space for training legal students who learn about the legal process while supporting claims, and who may later specialise in this area of law. They work alongside commercial lawyer volunteers who are building their knowledge in immigration and asylum law.

The Legal Business Awards commendation was the latest mark of recognition for the clinic, which since opening its doors to referrals in 2020 has received over 130 referrals and started work on over 110 cases. In April the clinic won the LawWorks & Attorney General Student Pro Bono Award 2023 for 'Best Contribution by a Law School'. The RLC has also been shortlisted for the British Legal Awards, in the Outstanding Social Impact category, which will be decided in November.

The commendation, in the ESG Programme of the Year category, is the equivalent of coming in second place out of all submissions. The application was made jointly by RLC’s two law firm partners, Macfarlanes and Clifford Chance, focussing on their pro bono contribution.

Susan Reardon-Smith, Clinic Manager at the RLC, said:

Macfarlanes’ and Clifford Chance’s support of the University of London Refugee Law Clinic has been integral to its establishment and highlights their commitment to supporting refugees in the UK.

Hosted by comedian and actor Sally Phillips, the awards took place at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair, London on Tuesday 19 September.