Law students offer free legal advice to people in Brighton and Hove

Posted On 07 Feb 2016 at 11:43 am
By Taraneh Fathalian

Law students have started offering free legal advice to people in Brighton and Hove who do not qualify for legal aid and cannot afford a lawyer.

The pilot project will run for six weeks. It was started this week by Sussex Clinical Legal Education (SCLE) at Sussex University.

The students interview clients for 30 minutes in the Sussex Law School’s Freeman building each Wednesday.

They then discuss the case with their tutor before providing pro bono advice. Pro bono advice is given free for the public good.

The project focuses on family law matters, such as divorce, separation, co-habitation and children.

Family law clinic leader John Jupp said: “We had a great number of inquiries. We were fully booked last Wednesday and we are already taking clients for the next Wednesday.”

Sussex University entrance sign

Twenty students have been selected for the pilot through an application process based on their CV, experience and grades. There is a waiting list for other students who applied for the scheme. All the students have been trained in how to interview clients.

Victoria Chan, 25, a third year law student, said: “I am very excited and honoured to be a part of this because we are providing a service to the community.”

Dr Jupp said that the project was a great opportunity for the students to get a taste for law in practice and develop the transactional skills required for their future career.

The pilot, which will run until mid March, is intended to provide benefits for the students and members of the local community. It gives direct legal advice and assistance to the public and help in the county court.

The aim is to run clinics covering more areas of law from September, including housing and welfare, employment, environmental law, creative industries, street law, immigration and asylum.

The project will be embedded in a clinical legal education module from September and second year students can choose it as one of their optional modules for third year.

Clients can click here to book an appointment through the clinic’s website.

  1. Jon Rigg Reply

    I had my step children taken into care by the social services. The social worker outrageously lied on the legal documents, saying such things as I have hollow bones and need a walking stick and because I failed one drug test for cannabis proves that I was re-taking heroin. She claimed this without contacting the substance misuse worker who had regularly rested me for 10 years. She split the children into separate homes because the fosters claimed my son was bullying my daughter the way he had learned of me, again without any prove of anything. The fosters said this because we had complained about the abuse the kids had faced under their care. The social worker asked the children if they had been abused in front of the fosters and the kids were to terrified to answer truthfully…… please help us to rebuild our family and regain some faith in humanity…

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