News and updates.

First Cohort of Justice First Fellows QualifyFebruary 3, 2017

The initial group of nine Fellows, who joined the Fellowship scheme in its first year, have completed their training and qualified as solicitors.

"I would like to congratulate all the Fellows on completing their training – and for helping us pioneer the Justice First Fellowship. It is thanks to them and their host organisations that the scheme has exceeded our expectations, and is well on track to creating the social welfare law leaders of thefuture."
The Foundation’s chief executive, Matthew Smerdon

The first nine Fellows to qualify as solicitors are:

  • Melissa Darnbrough (Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit)
  • Deidre Flanigan (Govan Law Centre)
  • Fanny Forest (Coventry Law Centre) 1
  • Maryam Hussain (Deighton Pierce Glynn)
  • Nadia Hussain (Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit)
  • Helen Roberts (Speakeasy Advice Centre) 2
  • Debra Robinson (Staffordshire North and Stoke on Trent Citizens Advice Bureaux)
  • Amber Rowsell (Coram Children’s Legal Centre)
  • Katy Watts (Public Law Project)

1 Fanny Forest is on a part-time training contract, and is due to qualify in July 2017
2 Helen Roberts qualified in June 2016, as the start of her training contract predated the formal launch of the Fellowship scheme

"To us, the fellowship scheme felt like a ray of hope, coming at a time of legal aid cuts and closures in the advice sector. The financial contribution is important – without it, we would never have been able to find the money for a new post – but it’s more than that. It is about optimism, and investing in the future and saying ‘We are not done yet’."
Denise McDowell, director of Greater Manchester Immigration Unit,
host to two of the inaugural Fellows

The full press release can be seen here.