School of Law

Law students receive prize and work placement awards in memory of Pamela Walsh Peaker

13 August 2014 |

Law students are recognised for their work in the Legal Advice Clinic, and get the opportunity to join solicitors’ firms for valuable work placements in memory of solicitor Pamela Walsh Peaker.

The Pamela Walsh Peaker Memorial Prize and the Pamela Walsh Peaker Memorial Awards are funded by Mr Tony Peaker and dedicated to the memory of his late wife, from Jack Royd, Halifax, who was a partner in London solicitors L Bingham and Co of Chancery Lane.

Pamela Walsh Peaker Memorial Prize

The Pamela Walsh Peaker Memorial Prize recognises the pro-bono work of our students, and the invaluable opportunity that the Legal Advice Clinic offers in terms of helping students learn to apply their legal knowledge to diverse, real-world problems.  The Clinic also aims to develop transferable skills within students such as written and oral communication.

The annual prize of £300 is awarded to the ‘most meritorious’ team engaged in the Clinics work and is to be shared equally amongst the team members. This year’s prize has been awarded to Naomi McDiarmid and Hafsa Raza – congratulations!

Pamela Walsh Peaker Memorial Awards

The Pamela Walsh Peaker Memorial Awards provides the opportunity for students to engage in an eight-week summer work placement where they gain valuable experience in private law – particularly in the area of claimants’ individual legal rights – and observe directly the practice of justice.

By giving the students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the business and legal practices of their host firms, the scholarships encourage them to consider careers in these fields of law and enhance their future employability. The Awards have a particular benefit to students who would otherwise have difficulty obtaining such career-enhancing work experience.

The six students selected for the Awards in 2014 are Katie Small from Macclesfield, Cheshire; Heather Lucy from Stockport, Greater Manchester; Chevan Ilangaratne from Beverley, East Yorkshire; Antonia Birchall from Newton le Willows, Merseyside; Samantha Clarke from Hull, East Yorkshire and Sinead Kearns from Leeds. They have each completed two years of their law course and were selected from many excellent applicants.

Mr Peaker has family ties to the Leeds area. He chose the Law School at the University of Leeds for these awards as Pamela, originally from Dublin, lived in Halifax and enjoyed her time in Yorkshire. He said: “Pamela had to overcome significant difficulties to become a lawyer. This gave her a real empathy for the struggles of others and she was always keen to help those learning to practise the law."

“She always had time to help and encourage members of staff in realising their potential and loved helping young people to progress. She would be so pleased that this fund has been set up in her memory to help and encourage young lawyers to advance.”

Professor Alastair Mullis, Head of the Law School at Leeds, said the Awards reflect the school’s continuing efforts to ensure all students, including those without prior connections in the law, are given soundly based opportunities to move into successful and fulfilling legal careers. “The Pamela Walsh Peaker Memorial Awards provide a valuable experience for our students, helping them to develop transferable skills to aid them in their future careers and we would like to thank Mr Peaker for his continued support.”

The students all expressed their gratitude to Mr Peaker. Said Chevan, whose placement will be at SCE Solicitors in Leeds city centre: “The scholarship provides an opportunity for students who wish to pursue a legal career outside of commercial law, with hands on work experience for eight weeks. I am so grateful to Mr Peaker for his astounding generosity.”

Katie, who has joined Michael Lewin Solicitors in Moortown, Leeds, added: "I would like to thank Mr Tony Peaker for the opportunity he has provided. Such a long placement really gives you a chance to gain insight into a particular field of law.”

Said Heather, who has joined Blacks Solicitors, close to the University campus: "I am really grateful for this opportunity. It is extremely generous to give money to virtual strangers to help them succeed in their ambitions."

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