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In a bid to showcase the efforts of students from Indian law schools towards engaging with the community, Herbert Smith Freehills has launched the Community Engagement Awards.
The firm is looking to recognize law students who are working with non-profit organisations with a view to making a sustainable impact on their communities.
Speaking about the rationale behind the initiative, the firm’s Corporate Responsibility Coordinator, Honey Sanusi said,
“Although we do a great deal with various Indian law schools, we are also interested in the social space in India. This is because we have a long-standing and proud tradition of volunteering to support those in need. Furthermore, we are keen to celebrate Indian lawyers doing the same in their local communities.”
How does it work?
The firm is looking for entries, from individuals or teams of law students across India, which highlight projects or initiatives that are creating a sustainable impact on their communities.
This competition has two categories. The first category is Community Investment Through Legal Work. Projects entered into this category should focus on legal work such as: NGO internships; advisory work; case work; legal research; policy development; training/capacity building; legal drafting; contract review and/or pro-bono partnerships.
The second category, Community Contribution Through Volunteering, should focus on non-legal work. Projects entered into this can involve: working in partnership with the local community, charity or NGO; tackling issues affecting a community; delivering social value; and demonstrating potential for a wider impact.
As this video demonstrates, the entries will be judged on four criteria: social impact, sustainability of impact, innovation and presentation.
How do you submit you entries?
Submit a short film (2-5 minutes in length); supported by up to 700 words, explaining more about the project and how the prize money would make a difference to the non-profit partners they may be involved with. All entries should be submitted by 15 July 2016.
What’s at stake?
The Awards will take place at an event hosted by the firm, wherein the winners will get the opportunity to engage with the lawyers.
“Besides benefiting communities, we believe that volunteering helps to develop well-rounded individuals, giving law students a broader perspective on life and the ability to communicate and work with diverse people. As mentioned previously, we have a long standing tradition of volunteering and when we are recruiting our lawyers, we look for people with values and interests similar to that of the firm.”
Apart from this, the non-profit partners of the winners will receive a donation of £2,000.
A team of four lawyers from the firm, including Partner and member of India Executive Group, Nicola Yeomans, Head of Middle East, Zubair Mir, Lawyer and NLSIU grad Dheer Bhatnagar, and Chairman of the firm’s India Practice, Chris Parsons will decide the winners.
“Law students have an abundance of skills and tools at their disposal to make a huge difference to their communities and I am looking forward to highlighting some of those initiatives through our Community Engagement Awards.”