Legal expertise is something that takes years of dedication, and bags of ability, to properly hone. As such, it’s important that the finest young legal minds are properly recognised. The competition provides not only an incentive for future lawyers to knuckle down, but it also helps to recognise their achievements, and celebrate them with a glitzy ceremony (or, rather, an online announcement followed by a series of self-isolated celebrations).
National Accident Helpline hold one such competition each year. The Future Legal Mind award judges entrants based on their essays and video contributions. The shortlist for the 2020 award has just been announced, alongside a video from each of the potential winners. Ten candidates have made the cut, with a 50:50 split between the two genders.
Among the finalists are representatives from several UK universities. Flying the flag for the University of Law are Nazmin Akthar, a second-year LPC student, and Ben Williams, whose essay focussed on access to legal aid. There are two students from the University of Cambridge on the list: 22-year-old Henry Day, 25-year old Joseph Kelen, as well as an actual native of the city, Jessica Hitchcock, who works in the City. Her essay was built around her personal experience with endometriosis, and focussed on promoting the cause of women in the workplace. Each of the nominees brings something valuable to the table, and it’ll be a tough job deciding on a worthy overall winner.
Once chosen, the victorious nominee will be receiving a valuable mentoring session with one of the National Accident Helpline’s in-house legal team, along with a £2,000 prize fund to help kick-start what’s sure to be a hugely prosperous career in law.
The National Accident Helpline is a no-win, no-fee solicitor specialising in personal injury claims. They provide an online claims calculator, allowing accident victims to quickly assess whether they might be entitled to compensation, and how much they might receive. The company is quick to point to the fact that they haven’t placed a single cold call in their history, and that their reputation on brand-rating website Trustpilot is ‘excellent’. Of course, it’s this hunger for prestige that makes the prize so sought-after by the future legal geniuses of the UK.
The company’s MD, Tom Fitzgerald, was quick to praise the standard of entrants. “We received some excellent essays this year from law students and trainees all over the UK, and we’d like to thank everyone who entered the competition,” he said. “The essays written by our final 10 clearly showed their enthusiasm and passion for the law across a range of niches, including land law and environmental law. All of our finalists gave compelling arguments as to how they believe the law could be used to create positive social change, which impressed our judges, and we wish them all good luck for the final.”
Historically, the Future Legal Mind competition has provided a springboard for students looking to embark on a career in law. Past winners include Tom Phillips in 2016, and Lukas Hamilton Eddy in 2015 – both of whom have gone on to become barristers. Given this history, it’s a fairly safe bet that the winners of this year’s award will go on to make valuable contributions to the field – as will the other nominees!