A Lancaster University Law School Legal Advice Clinic providing free legal advice to local residents is about to get off the ground.
A pilot scheme run earlier this year for University staff and students proved highly successful with 20 people receiving advice to resolve legal disagreements.
Now, in partnership with leading Lancaster law firm Joseph A Jones and Citizens’ Advice North Lancashire (CANL), the legal advice clinic is to be extended to the general public.
Third year law students, supervised by two members of the University staff, barrister Louise Rae and solicitor Kathryn Saban, will run the service for Lancaster, Morecambe and district residents facing legal problems.
The weekday service will be run from the CANL premises in both Lancaster and Morecambe, who will refer clients along with local relevant community groups.
Direct enquiries can also be made via an online appointment request form here: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/law/undergraduate/law/law-clinic/contact-us/
Prospective clients will be asked to provide a brief description of their issue and, if after discussion, the team can help, a member of the student Law Clinic will arrange an appointment.
Working in teams of two and operating as mini ‘firms’, the student advisors will meet the clients to understand more about their legal issue.
Afterwards, they will research the problem and relevant area of law closely supervised by a suitably qualified person.
The Law Clinic will provide a letter of advice to their clients within two weeks of the appointment date.
Students will consider an array of legal issues including: housing issues, employment law, neighbour disputes, wills and probate, consumer rights, education law, personal legal problems and private family law.
Solicitor Gary Rycroft, a partner at Joseph A. Jones, said: "Lancaster University is renowned for its academic excellence and the Law Clinic will give students invaluable practical experience on top of the intellectual rigour they already receive.
“The law, taught by the academic staff, will be applied in the real world of real life messy problems and we are delighted to work alongside the students to solve those problems and offer them insight into law in practice. And it's great that Law Clinic clients will receive top notch legal advice at no charge along the way!"
Chief Executive Officer of Citizens’ Advice North Lancashire Helen Greatorex said: “We always felt a partnership with Lancaster University Law School made sense, bringing together the brightest legal minds in the University with the quality advice standards of Citizens Advice North Lancashire to meet the ever more complex advice needs of clients in the community.
“This project confirms the University's place within the local community and allows Citizens Advice North Lancashire to reach further into the community by provision of trained student volunteers working alongside our staff in some of the most deprived areas in the district.
“We look forward to providing an excellent training and advice experience for the students whilst increasing our existing volunteer team."
The Law Clinic starts on 6 November and will run to 9th March