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Herbert Smith Freehills announces the launch of the second annual Community Engagement Awards, which aims to showcase the very best social projects being spearheaded by law students across India and support those who are creating a positive impact in their communities. 

The firm is calling for entries from individuals or teams of law students across India which highlight projects or initiatives that are creating a sustainable impact on their communities.

The competition has two categories. The first category is 'Community Investment Through Legal Work' and the projects entered into this category should focus on legal work (NGO internships, advisory work, case work). The second category, 'Community Contribution Through Volunteering', is looking for projects focussed on non-legal work such as working in partnership with the local community, charity or NGO; tackling issues affecting a community or delivering social value.

Candidates are asked to submit a short film (2-5 minutes in length), supported by up to 700 words, explaining more about the project and how the £2,000 prize money would make a difference to the non-profit partners they are involved with. Deadline for entries is Friday 7 July.

Winners will be selected by the Herbert Smith Freehills Community Engagement Working Committee, which includes members of the firm's India Practice. The successful projects will be announced at an awards ceremony in India in September this year.

Last year, the winner for the 'Community Investment Through Legal Work' award was a legal care project for disadvantaged women of Pune by engaging young students and expert faculty. The 'Community Contribution Through Volunteering' award was won by a project focussed on painting 50 wall murals in Dehradun with the aim of keeping the city clean.

This project has grown out of the firm's longstanding work with law schools across India and most recently through the Herbert Smith Freehills' Bridge project (HSF Bridge), which seeks to provide a link between students at Indian law schools and social projects. The firm also supports projects such as: LittleBigHelp, which cares for street children near Howrah railway station in Kolkata; and the IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access), which aims to empower marginalised communities through legal education.

Chris Parsons, Chairman of Herbert Smith Freehills' India Practice, commented:

"The kind of work that law students are doing across India to make a positive change in society is very impressive and I am happy that our Community Engagement Awards are a platform to acknowledge their efforts. At Herbert Smith Freehills we believe that volunteering helps develop a wider perspective, creative thinking, as well as hone leadership qualities and these awards help celebrate the achievement of these volunteers and raise the profile of their work."

For more details about the awards and full information about how to enter, please visit our Community Engagement Awards page.