London law schools team up with Clifford Chance and Macfarlanes to launch refugee law clinic

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By Thomas Connelly on

Staffed by students

Law students across London will offer free legal support to refugees seeking asylum in the UK through a new clinic backed by two leading City law firms.

The Refugee Law Clinic will see law student volunteers prepare and advise fresh claims for asylum under the supervision of qualified lawyers. A fresh claim is the process by which a declined asylum-seeker seeks to make a further application on the basis of important new factors such as changed circumstances or additional evidence.

It will be staffed by second, third, and fourth year LLB students, as well as LLM students from the University of London’s member institutions, including City Law School, King’s College London, and Queen Mary. Volunteers will work in the clinic for around a half day per week for a period of one year.

The project will be further supported by lawyers from Clifford Chance and Macfarlanes.

Ore Shoyinka, a volunteer and aspiring immigration barrister, said she was “immediately drawn to the clinic” because of her encounters with the UK immigration and asylum system. The City Law School undergrad added: “These experiences have placed me in a position to offer empathy to those being served by the clinic”.

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This isn’t the first time law students have stepped in to offer free legal support.

Last month Legal Cheek reported that the University of Hertfordshire had joined forced with legal charity Citizens Advice to launch a pro bono initiative which sees students offer legal support to members of the public wishing to make benefits appeals.

Elsewhere, a trio of London university law clinics — Westminster, Greenwich and London South Bank — recently teamed up with local law centres and community groups to launch a free legal support hub for victims of the Windrush scandal.

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