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Non-Government Organisation Experience

Jan 2022 - Jan 2023: Executive Committee, Human Rights Lawyers Association

I organised an event, Disability and the Human Rights Act, which discussed the Act's role in safeguarding the rights of disabled people. The Act provides access to the European Convention of Human Rights and protection from the state, whether that be through mental health provisions, health and social care or the criminal justice system.

I was responsible for liaising with the Young Lawyers' Committee.

 

Jan 2017 - Jan 2019: Education Lead, Human Rights Lawyers Association's Young Lawyers Committee

I had the privilege of being elected to the Young Lawyers Committee twice. During my two terms, I organised an event, Disability in the Legal Professions, which discussed the careers of five disabled lawyers. Two important points were raised. Firstly, disclosing and recognising your disability can be a positive step to getting the adjustments needed to overcome the obstacles of being a disabled person. Secondly, the panel found that the difference is good. The event was unique and positive, given that the diversity conversations often omit disability. There was interest from the legal press, and Legal Cheek wrote an article. 

I arranged and spoke at the Disability, Education and Human Rights event, which discussed the L case, schools failing to make reasonable adjustments and inadequate sex education. A lack of support and funding was a common theme in the discussions.

I was on the Education Working Group, responsible for the Judicial Review Competition and the Young Human Rights Lawyer Journal. Organising the Journal was a team effort with three other Committee members while having independent work periods.  My responsibilities were to collect the results and inform the successful candidates and those who were not successful. I worked with the Committee member responsible for the previous stage to determine which editor was allocated to each article. I also worked with the Chair to chase up the editors that missed the deadline. I worked independently when writing emails to the authors and collecting the results. I liaised with another Committee member responsible for organising the publication process and collecting the edited articles. We worked together to avoid confusion about which papers were accepted and rejected.

Nov 2017 - Mar 2018: Secretary, Bi Pride UK

Strong time management, organisation and administrative skills were shown in prompt handling requests from the Chair at short notice and being available when needed. This often includes contacting Bi Pride UK committee members and external people and sending out agendas. Self-motivation when working remotely is part of the role.

Participation in and engagement with the Executive Committee and supporting the Chair was part of my role. I created a Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility, introduced an action log, contact list, and new communications process and played a legal role given that position was vacant. 

Persuasive and confident communication has taken place when discussing recruitment, meeting processes, the lack of engagement and formality. Even when she disagreed, I had no qualms about being a critical friend to the Chair.

June 2015 - March 2018: Information Service Volunteer, Stonewall

I responded to enquiries from people who needed urgent information on LGBT rights. Many people who contact the service via email or phone have experienced discrimination, are distressed and need to know how to take action. This required good listening and patience. My empathy was a prerequisite too. The ability to remain calm is also essential, given that some callers are suicidal.

I provided detailed responses and signposted people to legal advisors, counsellors and community groups. Intense research and writing skills were required when writing advice to ensure accuracy. 

Feb 2016 - July 2017: Volunteer, Alzheimer's Research UK

I prepared materials and helped run events to raise funds for dementia. Research skills and creativity were required to find the information and make it representable. The ability to process the information was needed to make the information accessible. Engaging with people was also a significant aspect of the role, providing support and information.

March 2015 - August 2015: Press and Publicity Intern, Access to Justice Foundation

I researched local press and legal contacts in the areas of the Legal Support Trusts’ events. Excel was used to create a national database of local news outlets, journalists and lawyers conscious of legal aid difficulties. I also drafted press releases and wrote articles for the Foundation and the Legal Support Trusts using Word. 

August 2013 - 2015: Intern, Volunteer and Peer Facilitator, British Institute of Human Rights

I completed research on the perpetuated myths surrounding the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Union for the BIHR's Human Rights Tour. This helped the staff educate the public on how MPs and journalists wrongly portray rights as a hate figures dictating UK policy. 

 

I also looked behind the tabloid and news headlines to discover that the judgements were distorted to create a public outcry. Local human rights cases were also investigated to help the residents connect with human rights, making them more accessible and accurate. This helped ensure that those coming to the Tour realise that rights protect people, and they do it close to home. Similarly, positive articles were discovered that did not credit human rights as the remedy.

An evaluative project regarding the Mental Capacity Act was completed, requiring a good understanding of the Act and how it is applied before assisting with hosting a committee that discussed the practical application of the Act. 

As a peer facilitator, assistance was given to host the Human Rights Here and Now Protect 2014, a seminar on child rights. I helped the participants to engage with the activities and encouraged communication.

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