Anglia Ruskin University’s Law Clinic will be expanding in the new academic year, in response to the high level of demand from the local community.
Anglia Ruskin expands Law Clinic services
Officially launched in May, in its first three months of operation the Law Clinic provided free legal advice to 114 clients worth over £10,000.
The Law Clinic, which is part of the national Law Works network, is staffed by Anglia Ruskin students, who are supported by solicitors from eight Cambridge firms and barristers from Fenners Chambers. It offers advice in the areas of family and employment law, as well as a free form-filling service.
The Law Clinic will now be offering twice-weekly family law advice sessions and will be increasing the team involved in form-filling support. A pilot for a Support at Court scheme, being led by Citizens Advice Cambridge, will also begin this month. This will see experienced Law Clinic Student Advisors offer face-to-face support and guidance to litigants arriving for hearings at Cambridge Family Court.
As well as offering an invaluable service to the local community – cuts in funding mean that few people now qualify for legal aid in family law cases – the Law Clinic provides Anglia Ruskin Law students with real-life experience of interviewing and dealing with clients, under the supervision of qualified solicitors and barristers.
Sarah Calder, Director of the Anglia Ruskin Law Clinic, said: “Feedback from our first three months of operation in Cambridge shows that we are viewed by the local community as delivering an excellent service, and in response to high levels of demand we will be expanding our family law service from September.
“We are grateful that there is a large number of local family law practitioners who are prepared to volunteer. In fact the support from local lawyers has been overwhelming and their enthusiasm has been central to the success of the Law Clinic.
“The Law Clinic gives student volunteers the opportunity to build their confidence as they are given responsibility to interact with real people with real problems. They are also encouraged to develop networking skills and build professional relationships as they are given a unique opportunity to meet with a range of local legal practitioners.
“Volunteering in the Law Clinic greatly enhances the students’ employability in general terms and particularly in the eyes of local law firms, who are recognising the talents of students on their doorstep.”
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