The University of Kent officially launched the Kent Law Campaign to the public on Wednesday 6 November at a gala evening in London.
More than 150 alumni, friends, donors, staff and students of the University attended the event at 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin), in the heart of London’s financial district, which was hosted by David Nightingale, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor. In a packed and energised iconic building guests enjoyed outstanding and uninterrupted 360 degree panoramic views of London and beyond whilst supporting the important capital campaign for the Kent Law School.
The guest speakers included The Hon Charles Wigoder (major benefactor), David Nightingale (Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor), Professor Richard de Friend (Chair of the Campaign Board), Professor John Fitzpatrick (Director of the Kent Law Clinic), Sharlott Yum (current student) and Matthew Lawson (recent graduate).
The Campaign, which began in 2011 with the aim of raising £5 million by 2015, is a fundraising project to build a new home for the Kent Law Clinic, part of the Kent Law School. The Kent Law Clinic operates as a partnership between students, academics and practicing solicitors and barristers and provides a public pro bono service for people in the local community who need free legal advice and representation but cannot afford to pay for it. At the same time it enables students to gain experience of the law by working under supervision on cases for clients of the clinic.
The University has pledged to match each donation received pound for pound and to date £3.4 million has been raised with the University seeking the remaining amount over the next two years.
Work will begin next June on the building – which will also include a new mooting chamber – with a formal opening due during the University’s 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2015.
At the launch, David Nightingale thanked all donors and in particular The Hon Charles Wigoder and Dr Kennedy Wong for their generous support of the Campaign, their transformational gifts making this build possible.
Professor John Fitzpatrick, Director of the Kent Law Clinic, said: ‘This exciting new building for our Law Clinic will enable us to expand significantly our pro bono service to the public, which in turn will mean that more of our students will have the opportunity to learn about law through hands-on case work experience.
‘Our new mooting room will also enable students to hone their advocacy skills in a realistic courtroom environment.’
Professor Keith Mander, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, said: ‘This campaign has already been very successful with alumni and current students supporting the campaign through donations and fundraising activities.
‘As well as providing a very important pro bono service to the public, the Kent Law Clinic is a very important part of our law students’ positive experience here at the University. I am sure that the University community and its friends and stakeholders will respond positively to the public launch of the fundraising campaign.’
A selection of photographs taken on the evening can be viewed online – www.facebook.com/home.php#!/media/set/?set=a.465589916893665.1073741858.251330424986283&type=1
Support the Campaign
If you would like to support the Campaign by making a donation or volunteering your time to help our students, please contact Hilary Edridge, Head of Campaigns, Development Office, The Registry, Canterbury, Kent. CT2 7NZ
T: 07702 816016, E: H.A.Edridge@kent.ac.uk