LAW students from the University of Chester have been shortlisted for a prestigious national award at the House of Lords.

It is in recognition of their volunteer work with those experiencing domestic abuse.

Students have been announced as finalists in the 2024 LawWorks and Attorney General's Student Pro Bono Awards after they dedicated their time to support women in abusive relationships.

The Awards celebrate the best pro bono activities - legal advice or representation provided free of charge in the public interest - undertaken by law students and schools across the UK.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Law students participating in the Chester Community Law Project have been shortlisted for this prestigious award.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the House of Lords on Thursday, May 9, with the awards being presented by the Attorney General, the Rt Hon Victoria Prentis KC MP.

‘Reach out to Survivors: Domestic Abuse’ is a project providing legal support to those experiencing domestic abuse in the Chester area. The project is overseen by second-year law student Chloe Lewis and is run by a team of nine student volunteers.

The student team works in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Domestic Abuse Intervention and Prevention Service, with student volunteers attending weekly support groups for women run by Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVAs). Students provide on-the-spot legal information, guidance and moral support to people who need assistance because of being in an abusive relationship. 

This support is underpinned by student-produced leaflets on topics including Non-Molestation, Occupation, Child Arrangement and Restraining Orders. Students have also leveraged the power of technology to enable those who need guidance to access it safely online. All leaflets are accessible on a mobile device via the project’s weblink ( and the students have launched a TikTok account housing short videos explaining the topics covered by the leaflets: ChesterCCLP DA (@chestercclp.da) | TikTok

The student team has also worked with Chester-based charity Tomorrow’s Women, delivering a series of guidance presentations on the legal options available to women in abusive situations.

In addition to guidance and information, student volunteers also run a term-time appointment-based service to assist women survivors in completing applications for Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders.

In its first year of operation, the student volunteer team has provided information and guidance to more than 200 individuals, and has supported eight women with specific legal queries, all of whom have achieved a positive outcome at court.

The pro bono team within the University of Chester's School of Law and Social Justice operate community initiatives as part of Chester Community Law Project, including several free legal advice clinics and a variety of projects that aim to empower members of our local community to understand their legal rights in relation to such matters as housing, immigration, domestic abuse, employment and family law.

Chloe Lewis, student project manager for the Domestic Abuse project, said: “It has been an honour to be able to work with and support so many incredible women who deserve to feel safe in their everyday lives. Being part of the Chester Community Law Project team has been a phenomenal experience which has enhanced our skills and our confidence and we’d like to thank our mentors Andy Todd and Megan Cowan for their support - they enable us to do amazing work that makes a huge impact on the community. We are so grateful for this recognition and more motivated than ever to continue our work.”

Associate Professor Andrea Todd, Director of Pro Bono and Community Engagement within the School of Law and Social Justice, said: “We are incredibly proud of the hard work our student volunteers put in to supporting the most vulnerable in our community and we are delighted that their vitally important work in this area is being recognised at the highest level.”