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Birmingham Law School proudly congratulates Hayley Simonds, the winner of the 2014 Birmingham Law Society Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award. Hayley is a Trainee Solicitor at Mills & Reeve LLP and Chair of their Birmingham Free Legal Advice Group (FLAG) Committee. 

A Birmingham Law School alumna, Hayley was the very first student FLAG Volunteer when the project was set up by Dr Bharat Malkani in 2010.  In her pro bono work at Mills & Reeve LLP she leads a 13-strong committee of volunteer trainee solicitors and paralegals who, along with a solicitor volunteer base of 30, support the efficient running of the Mills & Reeve advice provision for this valuable service to the community. The chair role has been especially challenging this year with a significant increase in enquiries to the service.

Birmingham FLAG provides free legal advice in a large range of legal areas to members of the local community. It is CEPLER’s principal Pro Bono Group project, involving around a hundred students and providing them with opportunities to make a difference and develop their skills in interviewing, client care, drafting and research.

CEPLER's In-house Solicitor, Linden Thomas, was also nominated for the award. Linden joined the Law School from SGH Martineau in September also sits on Birmingham Law Society Council, is a member of the Law Society’s Pro Bono and Student Committees, a trustee for Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau and chair of the Bureau's personnel committee.