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Mary makes history as BPP Pro Bono Centre’s first-ever trainee solicitor

BPP University Law School has recruited its first-ever pro bono trainee solicitor.Mary Prescott started her new trainee solicitor role this month with BPP University Law School’s award-winning Pro Bono Centre.

The 26-year-old will receive training in housing law, family law and welfare benefits to gain experience as a social welfare lawyer.

“I am delighted to be joining BPP University Law School’s Pro Bono Centre and look forward to sharing my passion for pro bono work with students,” said Mary, who lives at the family-run Cross Keys public house, in Midford Road, Bath.

“I cannot wait to make this role a success and demonstrate the fantastic commitment to both students and the wider community by BPP University Law School and its incredible Pro Bono Centre.”

Mary, who as a BPP University Law School student previously underwent pro bono projects for the Personal Support Unit and the Avon & Bristol Law Centre, gained work experience as a Wills Adviser for Co-Operative Legal Services.

The former Coleg Gwent Student Union President was also asked by Brighton Housing Trust to undertake an extensive research project into the social and economic benefits of funding social housing and housing legal aid in Sussex.

Mary, who achieved a Distinction in her Legal Practice Course with BPP University Law School last year, will be supervised throughout her traineeship by Tony Martin, Supervising Solicitor at BPP University Law School’s Pro Bono Centre.

He said: “The training contract at BPP University Law School’s Pro Bono Centre is a fantastic opportunity for Mary to train as a social welfare lawyer. We will provide her with a varied training contract, including seats in housing and family law and, via secondments, welfare benefits and employment. One of the effects of the cuts in Legal Aid has been to reduce the availability of training contracts in social welfare law.”

Jessica Austen, Joint Director of Pro Bono and CSR at BPP University Law School, added: “At BPP University we are committed to students who want to practise in this essential area of law. The creation of such a training contract is a sign of our commitment and a practical step in providing tomorrow’s social welfare lawyers.”