Host Organisation: Law Centre Northern Ireland

Jennifer Gorman (provisional appointment)

Jennifer attended Queen’s University Belfast, completing three degrees. At the undergraduate level, Jennifer attained a bachelor’s degree in History. At the graduate level Jennifer undertook her legal studies in completing two master’s degrees in law (International Business Law and a Qualifying Law Degree). Jennifer’s dissertations across her university career focused on social welfare matters, with her undergraduate dissertation specialising in Civil Rights movements and her International Business Law master’s dissertation exploring how corporations could work to improve employment access for disabled persons, focusing particularly on the role of reasonable adjustments.

In charitable endeavours, Jennifer is also passionate about ensuring access to education and in her second year of university, joined the charity Childreach International to raise funds and personally undertake the building of a school in Tanzania.
Jennifer is also passionate about community development and improvement. In this capacity she is a registered volunteer with EastSide Partnership, a broad-based social partnership with community, statutory, political and business members who are dedicated to the social, economic, environmental and cultural regeneration of East Belfast.

Whilst at graduate school, Jennifer simultaneously worked as a paralegal, gaining practical experience in different areas of the legal profession. This included work in commercial, conveyancing and banking law. In January 2020 Jennifer began work for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission as a human rights paralegal. In this role Jennifer became further impassioned to assist vulnerable clients and worked to improve access to justice by managing the NIHRC’s Advice Clinic, which is a free service provided to the public.

Project

Jennifer is grateful and looking forward to undertaking her training contract with the Law Centre NI, joining the Social Security team. Jennifer’s desire to work towards improvements within the social security sector was inspired by personal and professional experience with the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) process. Jennifer intends to use her role through the Justice First Fellowship and the Law Centre NI, to research the barriers to accessing social security benefits and to advocate for systemic improvements to the benefits system. Jennifer aims to increase the visibility of public assistance for social security matters, so that some of the most vulnerable people in society do not feel alone in engaging in social security processes.

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