The Legal Aid Clinic of Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), O.P. Jindal Global University has won the 2017 Herbert Smith Freehills Community Engagement Award for Community Investment through Legal Work along with a cash prize of £2,000. The award recognises the outstanding team of law students at JGLS who worked closely with the community at large to bring sustainable social impact.
The Herbert Smith Freehills Community Engagement Award recognises and champions meaningful and high impact community engagement activity led by law students in India who are trying to bring sustainable social impact in the community by using their legal knowledge. The award programme invited entries from individuals or teams of students across all Indian law schools to showcase the contributions they are making in their communities. The two main categories included: community investment through legal work and community contribution through volunteering. Entries were judged on the basis of four key parameters including, social impact, project sustainability, innovation and presentation.
Congratulating students and faculty members on winning the prestigious community engagement award, JGU Vice-Chancellor, Professor (Dr) C Raj Kumar, said, "This extraordinary achievement recognises the outstanding work of the faculty members and students of Jindal Global Law School in the cause of legal empowerment and social justice. The Herbert Smith Freehills Community Engagement Award for Community Investment through Legal Work is testament to the passion, commitment and dedication of our students and faculty to seek social change and contribute to social engineering through law and its instrumentalities.
"I would like to thank all JGLS faculty members who have inspired, mentored and engaged with students in designing various initiatives and executing them in a socially impactful manner," he added.
For community investment through legal work category, the shortlisted institutions included Legal Aid Clinic of Jindal Global Law School, Legal Services Clinic of National Law School of India University (NLSIU) - Bangalore, Antashchetana of Chanakya National Law University - Patna. Apart from the shortlisted entries, various other institutions had also submitted their entries, including the Legal Aid and Awareness Committee of National Law University Jodhpur, ODRways - a tech initiative of NUJS.
Lauding the efforts of JGLS faculty and students, Chris Parsons, Chairman of Herbert Smith Freehills India Practice, commented, "The fact that the Legal Aid Clinic of JGLS has won the second edition of the Herbert Smith Freehills Community Engagement Award gives me immense pleasure. I have watched JGLS grow from little more than a bold dream into one of the leading law schools in India. Apart from its strong focus on social causes it also produces exceptional lawyers. Two of its talented students joined the HSF Indian internship programme this year and were so impressive that they will be joining the firm full-time as trainee lawyers in London."
Sushant Chandra, Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of the Legal Aid Clinic of JGLS, said, "The award is a huge testimony reflecting the social commitment of our students to usher in social and economic justice in the society. The student members at the Legal Aid Clinic have helped in drafting PILs, setting up legal literacy camps, filing RTI applications and directly work with the communities around campus."
"Two of our student members recently argued an RTI appeal before the Information Commissioner and the Commissioner liked them so much that he instantly offered them an internship," he added.
The Legal Aid Clinic of JGLS has been spearheading different initiatives related to access to education, health, strengthening access to information and creating awareness through various legal awareness camps. The Right to Education initiative has already helped many children from economically weaker section in accessing to quality education.
JGLS faculty members, Sushant Chandra and Ajay Pandey have essayed a pioneering role in the establishment of the Legal Aid Clinic of JGLS since 2009, whose philosophy and mission is to advance justice through the expansion of freedom.
The formal award ceremony will be held on 7th September, 2017 at New Delhi.