Clare Norriss: YSG Pro Bono Finalist

Clare_Norriss.jpgCongratuations to Clare Norriss who has reached the Young Solicitor’s Group Pro Bono Awards finalist stage.

Clare works for Beachcroft Wansbroughs, and commenced her volunteering as a trainee. She attends evening surgeries at Wandsworth & Merton Law Centre and is on the Centre?s Management Committee. Clare has been a driving force in the inclusion of mediation in the services offered. She also advises at the Tooting surgery ?local solicitor? evenings and played an instrumental role in the establishment of the Law Centre?s Putney advice surgery in 2000 enlisting her then colleagues at Capsticks to join the rota so that a viable service was established. She has developed a specialism in providing legal help to deaf people, and in her spare time is studying sign language.

It is National Pro Bono Week from 7 – 11 June 2004.

Clare has worked with Rob Wilks for a number of months now on individual cases for Deaf clients, and also in setting up a partnership between RAD and WMLC to provide an evening surgery once a month for Deaf clients. They’ve also worked together on the Blind and Deaf Legal Access Project, which has the ultimate aim of setting up the first Deaf Law Centre in the UK.

The amount of dedication Clare has to working with Deaf people is nothing short of astonishing. A Level 2 BSL student herself, Clare’s understanding of d/Deaf issues has grown in an admirable way; she acknowledges that the people who know about Deafies are Deafies themselves, and is convinced that what the Deaf community needs are Deaf lawyers.