Student-staffed clinic will now handle personal injury matters alongside family and employment law
Anglia Ruskin University has expanded the scope of work covered by its student-staffed pro bono clinic thanks to a tie-up with a local law firm.
From next month, law student volunteers will provide free legal advice on personal injury matters under the supervision of qualified solicitors for the first time.
The clinic was set up in 2018 to provide help to people, in East Anglia and further afield, and already advises on family and employment law matters. The student-led 30-minute sessions of free legal advice also allows the university’s aspiring solicitors to gain valuable practical experience.
The clinic’s foray into PI law has been made possible though a tie-up with law firm Hodge Jones & Allen.
“I joined the ARU Law Clinic in the first year of my undergraduate law degree, and have continued working at the clinic through to my LPC,” student volunteer Helen Proctor said. “The Law Clinic has allowed me to work on real life cases and see the huge difference 30-minutes of free legal advice can make to clients.”
“This opportunity has allowed me to not only improve my confidence in speaking to clients, but also to obtain the practical skills necessary for a successful career in the legal profession such as interviewing clients and drafting advice notes. It has also been a fantastic opportunity to network with practising lawyers and build connections in the legal field as well as to see the different styles adopted by lawyers when advising different clients.”
The clinic has helped over 750 clients in the last twelve months and provided support to clients at court.
Law schools across the country have been ramping up their pro bono efforts in the past few years, with the likes of City Law School, King’s College London, Bolton, Salford and Hertfordshire universities launching new or expanding existing schemes.
And it’s not just members of the public who are benefiting. The introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) means aspiring lawyers can now circumvent the training contract process and complete two years Qualifying Work Experience with up to four different “employers”, including a university pro bono clinic.