UJ Law alumnus wins national award for pro bono community service

At the recent national Pro Bono Awards, University of Johannesburg (UJ) Law alumnus Mr Ashley Seckel won the 2016 Law Student Award, which recognises a high level of commitment and dedication by a law student to his or her work at a university law clinic.

The 2016 Pro Bono Awards ceremony on 6 September 2016, presented and endorsed by Advocate Dali Mpofu SC, the Chair of the Johannesburg Bar Council, celebrated the exceptional contribution of students and law schools to no-cost legal advice to those without the means to pay. The event at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg was hosted by Probono.org, a national NGO that channels top quality legal assistance to the most vulnerable and marginalised people.

Mr Seckel worked at the UJ Law Clinic in Doornfontein in 2015 as a final-year LLB–student, supervised by the Principal attorney at the UJ DFC Law Clinic, Ms Elize Radley.

“In his first two years of Law School alone, Mr Seckel contributed more than 75 hours of community service and pro bono work,” said Ms Radley. “His tireless work ethic combined with his humility make him extraordinary. We could not be more pleased that he has won the award”.

“Pro Bono.Org exists to improve access to justice for South Africans and others who are unable to pay for their own private legal representation. The organisation aims for the creation of sufficient free legal representation for all who need it, as described in terms of section 34 of our Constitution,” said Ms Radley.

Mr Seckel said: “Winning this award is a perfect way to mark my journey at the University of Johannesburg Law Clinic. I am absolutely delighted, not only to have received this award, but to have had the opportunity to be in the Law Clinic and make a genuine difference to people who would not have achieved access to justice without it. The pro bono work that I have taken part in would not have been possible without the support and hard work of everyone in the Law Clinic and the University itself. Hopefully, this is something that will continue and grow for years to come.”

Mr Seckel is studying towards an LLM in International Commercial Law at the University of Johannesburg.

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