Memory of solicitor lives on in university law prizes

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AWARDS established in the memory of a lawyer from Yorkshire will give four Leeds University law students the opportunity to join solicitors’ firms for work placements.

The Pamela Walsh Peaker Memorial Prizes are to honour the memory of the successful lawyer who was a partner of L Bingham and Co Solicitors in London’s Chancery Lane.

They have been created by a donation made by her husband, Anthony Peaker.

The scholarship programme provides the students with eight-week summer work placements where they can gain experience in private law – particularly in the area of claimants’ individual legal rights.

The scholarships are aimed at encouraging career aspirations in these areas of law and enhancing the students’ future employability. It is hoped they will have a “particular benefit” to students who would otherwise have difficulty obtaining such work experience opportunities.

The four selected for the awards in 2013 are second-year law students Louise Burgess from Bury, Lancashire; Bethan Gifford from Barnoldswick, North Yorkshire; Nichola Stephens from Peterborough and Rana Begum from Keighley.

A university spokesman said they were selected from many excellent applicants.

Mr Peaker said he had chosen the Law School at the university for these awards as Pamela had lived at Jack Royd, Halifax, enjoyed her time in Yorkshire and because he has family ties to the Leeds area himself.

He said: “Pamela was a lawyer by vocation. She had to overcome significant difficulties to realise her aim and this gave her a real empathy for the struggles of others.

“It also saw her generous in her help to those learning to practise the law.

“The awards mean that, even after her passing, she will still be helping young people to do so.”

During her career she helped obtain compensation for victims of asbestos related diseases.