An extraordinary end to the academic year necessitated an extraordinary graduation for Kent Law School students in 2020.
Instead of a graduation ceremony in the vaulted nave of Canterbury Cathedral, the Law School launched two celebratory videos during yesterday’s #KLShour on Twitter.
One video comprises congratulatory messages to students from former Head of School Professor Toni Williams (now the new Head of the Division of Law, Society and Social Justice) as well as from many other Law School staff.
In her message, Professor Williams reflects on the first time she would have met 2020 graduates – during an introductory lecture in Woolf Lecture Theatre. She said: ‘We talked then about law and social change. We talked about law and public service. And we talked about education and its power to transform lives. As we finished that talk, I left you with the words of the immortal Malcolm X when he said “Education is the passport to the future for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” By reaching this wonderful day today, the day of your graduation, you have shown that you’ve seized that opportunity to prepare for your future, to prepare for tomorrow. And that, in itself, is a wonderful achievement – it’s your achievement, but it’s not your achievement alone. It’s the achievement of you and your family and your friends and the people who love and support you. And so today is a day to celebrate all of your achievements together.
‘As we celebrate the transformation that education brings, we recognise that to finish your degree, to graduate, is a moment of becoming. It’s a moment of becoming someone. In this case, a graduate of the University of Kent, of Kent Law School. It is fantastic to be able to congratulate you on that moment of becoming but to remember also as we celebrate that moment of becoming, that becoming, yes, is an arrival, and it is an achievement. But also to remind ourselves of the wonderful words of Michelle Obama that becoming isn’t only about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim, it’s a forward motion, a means of evolving. A way to reach continuously towards a better self and, we might add, better society. Congratulations on your moment of becoming and I look forwards to your moving towards a better self, a better society. Congratulations!’
A second video, compiled by #KLShour host Darren Weir, announced a list of 32 prize winners. You can watch the video again on YouTube and browse a list of prize winners below.
Kent Law School prize winners 2020
- Head of School’s Prize for outstanding work on critical legal thought: Hannah Pilcher (Runners up: Emily Collier & Georgia Patmore)
- KLS Special Award for best contribution to Kent Law School: Daniel Rozenberg (Runner up: Yoginni Gopal)
- Master of Eliot College Prize for best contribution to Community Building: Naima Zayla (Runner up: Daniel Rozenberg)
- Scott Moncrieff Essay Prize for best essay on social justice: Lara McErlean (Runners up: Emily Collier & Georgia Patmore)
Stage Prizes: Stage 1
- Hart Prize for best performance by a Stage 1 student (winner). Sponsored by Hart Publishing, Oxford: Tinde Oude-Brunink
- Hart Prize for best performance by a Stage 1 student (runner up). Sponsored by Hart Publishing, Oxford: Yuen Yu Chan
- Stantons Prize for best performance by a Certificate in Law student (winner). Sponsored by Stantons Solicitors, Gravesend: Thandiwe Mlambo
- Stantons Prize for best performance by a Certificate in Law student (runner up). Sponsored by Stantons Solicitors, Gravesend: Shannon Perez
Stage Prizes: Stage 2
- Whitehead Monckton Prize for best performance by a Stage 2 student (winner). Sponsored by Whitehead Monckton Ltd Solicitors, Maidstone: Jonathan Fuhr
- Whitehead Monckton Prize for best performance by a Stage 2 student (runner up). Sponsored by Whitehead Monckton Ltd Solicitors, Maidstone: Hannah Pilcher
- Davis, Simmonds & Donaghey Prize for best performance by an ex Certificate in Law Stage 2 student (winner). Sponsored by Davis, Simmonds & Donaghey Solicitors, Gillingham: Alaina Iqbal
- Davis, Simmonds & Donaghey Prize for best performance by an ex Certificate in Law Stage 2 student (runner up). Sponsored by Davis, Simmonds & Donaghey Solicitors, Gillingham: Daniella Castro
- Thomson Reuters Prize for best performance by a finalist (winner). Sponsored by Thomson Reuters, London: Ingrid Malo
- Thomson Reuters Prize for best performance by a finalist (runner up). Sponsored by Thomson Reuters, London: Megan Wood-Smith
- Davis, Simmonds & Donaghey Prize for best performance by an ex Certificate in Law finalist (winner). Sponsored by Davis, Simmonds & Donaghey Solicitors, Canterbury: Charles Serna
- Davis, Simmonds & Donaghey Prize for best performance by an ex Certificate in Law finalist (runner up). Sponsored by Davis, Simmonds & Donaghey Solicitors, Canterbury: Sanket Shome
- Boys & Maughan Advocacy Prize for best performance in civil litigation. Sponsored by Boys & Maughan: Gintare Baranauskaite
- Colley Prize for best performance in the European Law Module, Stage 2 (sponsored by Colley Solicitors, Rochester): Olivia Fuller
- Edinburgh University Press Prize for best performance in the Law, Space and Power Module (Stage 2/3). Sponsored by Edinburgh University Press: Rinu Mathew & Eleni Ilia
- Girlings Prize for best performance in the Tort & Contract Law Module. Sponsored by Girlings Solicitors: Suhaib Zaino & Shain Desa
- Davis Simmonds & Donaghey Prize for best performance in the Public Law Module (Stage 1). Sponsored by Davis Simmonds & Donaghey: Madeleine Blackie
- Davis Simmonds & Donaghey Prize for best performance in the Dissertation Module. Sponsored by Davis Simmonds & Donaghey: Ingrid Malo
- Judge & Priestley Prize for best performance in the Introduction to Obligations Module (Stage 1). Sponsored by Judge & Priestley: Berke Elmaz
- KLS Advanced Criminal Law Prize for the best Advanced Criminal Law Presentation: Larissa Balkissoon & Rabia Siva
- KLS Canadian Negotiation Prize for the best performance in the Canadian Negotiation: Gurkaran Banipal
- KLS Comparative Law Prize for outstanding achievement in the Comparative Law Module (Stage 2/3): Sara G M Snakenbroek
- KLS Foundations of Property Prize for best performance in the Foundations of Property Module (Stage 1): Filipa Simao Alves Paes Vas
- KLS Negotiation Prize for most outstanding Negotiation Team 1: Wuraola Adetuambi and Rohini Majumdar. Team 2: Maria Azevedo and Zoe Salisbury
- Sir Terence Etherton Master of the Rolls Prize for best essay on a topic in Equity and Trusts. Sponsored by Sir Terence Etherton: Mehin Abdullayeva. (Runner up – Aedan Courtney)
- MacMillan Education Sports Law Prize for best performance in the Sports Law Module. Sponsored by MacMillan Education: Dimitrios Vazelakis & Aysu Haker
- Norman Cooper Advocacy Prize for best Certificate in Law student in Criminal Law presentation (Stage 1). Sponsored by Jeremy Cooper and Kent Law Society: Sam Perez Minaree Jayasema
- TMLEP Prize for best performance in Law & Medical Ethics Module (Stage 2/3). Sponsored by TMLEP: Abbie Newing
Law Clinic Prizes
- Brachers Access to Justice Prize for outstanding contribution to access to justice by a Kent Law Clinic student (sponsored by Brachers Law, Maidstone): Sofia Sormunen
- Fairweather Prize for outstanding contribution to the Kent Law Clinic by a non-finalist (sponsored by Fairweather Solicitors, Canterbury): Queenet Awesu
- Wigoder Award for recognition of an undergraduate law student with outstanding academic potential. Sponsored by The Hon Charles Wigoder: Hala Samia Zein
- Justin W Yuen Canadian Law Moot Prize for best performance in the Canadian Moot Competition. Sponsored by Justin W Yuen, Criminal Lawyer: Jeremy Kingsford
- Kent Law Society Prize for best overall mooter. Sponsored by Kent Law Society, Sevenoaks: Simona Petti
- Weekly Law Reports Prize for best overall Stage 2 & Stage 3 mooters (sponsored by The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting, London): Stage 2 – Katie Wheeler. Stage 3 – Millicent Webb
- KLS Mock Trial Advocacy Prize for the winner of the KLS Mock Trial Advocacy Competition: Vimbai Sibanda
Kent Student Awards winners
Kent Law School students also scored a raft of successes in the 2020 Kent Student Awards. This awards scheme is organised annually by Kent Union and the University of Kent to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution students make to the Kent student experience. The winners were announced last week via a video live-stream broadcast to all students on the University’s YouTube channel.
- ‘Student of the Year‘ and ‘The Mike Oliver Award for Improving Accessibility‘: Final-year Law LLB student, Paul-Georg Ender, was named 2020 Student of the Year for his outstanding efforts in improving accessibility on campus and for Kent digitally. Paul also won ‘The Mike Oliver Award for Improving Accessibility’ for his work in helping to prevent the need for retrospective adjustments. This includes both the physical and digital spaces at Kent, such as evaluating tactile bumpers that the library will install on their steps and providing user feedback on Moodle and Blackboard Ally software, which are key to the student experience. Paul has engaged with this so much that he has launched initiatives of his own such as suggesting the creation of a tactile 3D map of the campus. This has now led to the creation of a PhD project in the School of Architecture
- ‘Outstanding Contribution to Academic Communities’: Law students Nicole Bolick and Nathaly Andreou were recognised for their contribution as Mooting & Mock Trial Clerks. Together, they arranged 10 full Crown Court Trials (involving 200 student jurors, professional judges and actor witnesses), external moot competitions as well as the internal mooting programme. They had to arrange and co-ordinate the student judges, mentor the teams and co-ordinate 80 students. These co-curricular activities are vital to the law school’s curriculum and for the experience of KLS students
- ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Community‘: Stage 2 Law with Quantitative Research student Eleni Ilia, (together with fellow Kent student Libby Kane) was recognised for further developing the university-based charity UKC STAR (Student Action for Refugees). UKC STAR aims to help refugees by spreading awareness of the issues facing refugees and asylum seekers, and coordinating volunteers to help on projects
- ‘Outstanding Contribution to Student Voice‘: Loveness Williams, a former Kent Law School LLB graduate now studying an MA in Social Work, was recognised for supporting fellow students, advocating for their rights and concerns as their Student Rep.