Slaughter and May Announces Student Innovation Prize Winner

Slaughter and May has announced the winner of its Innovation Competition for students, where the winner received £1,000 and will join the leading law firm for a week’s work experience in its Knowledge & Innovation team later this year.

The winner was Bonnie Barfield, who is studying at Birmingham University, and whose podcast explored how law firms could use virtual technologies, such as the Metaverse, to maintain and develop personal relationships in the hybrid/virtual world of work.

You can listen to the winning podcast here.

Students could choose to answer one of two questions, and entries were judged on their creativity, originality, commercial awareness and strength and clarity of argument. Entries were invited in any format, and included podcasts, blog posts, narrated presentations and essays.

The firm received close to 40 entries, which were then shortlisted by a panel made up of members of the Knowledge & Innovation Team and the firm’s Innovation Network Hub, who identified the six strongest entries, which were then put to the final judging panel.

The judging panel was made up of Partners, Oliver Wicker and Sally Wokes; Director of Knowledge & Innovation, Alex Woods; and Head of Knowledge & Innovation, Jane Stewart.

In addition to the £1,000 prize and work experience placement awarded to the winner, the second and third place entries were awarded £500 and £250 in prize money respectively. 

‘It was a pleasure to be involved in the judging panel again this year. I never cease to be impressed by the quality, creativity and originality of the entrants to the competition, which make it a harder job to judge every year. Congratulations to all for taking part, and in particular to this year’s winners,’ said Woods.

Associate Michael Craig, who was part of the competition shortlisting panel, added: ‘More than ever, law firms need fresh thinking – the entries this year provided that in truck loads. We are grateful for every entry and would encourage students to take their novel ideas with them to drive change as they embark on their legal careers.’

And here are the prize winners in full:

First place: Bonnie Barfield (studying Modern Languages at the University of Birmingham) who produced a podcast in response to the question: ‘What can law firms do to help individuals maintain and develop personal relationships in the hybrid/virtual world of work?’

Second place: Emily Rossiter (studying English Literature at the University of Manchester) who produced an app proposal in response to the same question above.

Third place: Nigel Cledwyn Motinius (studying LLB Law at the University of the West of England, Bristol) with a narrated presentation in response to the question: ‘How can law firms innovate to ensure that environment, social and governance (ESG) goals are met internally and for their clients?’

Highly commended: Sukhpreet Kaur (studying Politics, Philosophy and Law at the University of Warwick) with a magazine article in response to the same first prize-winning question above.

Congrats to all involved!