We have an award winning pro bono service. Below are details of some of the schemes we have run in Chester. There are changes year-to-year, but we will always provide a range of options designed to enhance the employability of our students.
This is a legal education scheme, which aims to deliver interactive presentations regarding the law to schools and groups in the local community. Past presentations have included topics such as consumer rights, human rights and eyewitness testimonies.
By helping with this programme you will be required to conduct research and prepare a presentation, throughout the course of the year, with the aim of giving the client group an understanding of the legal principles behind the area of the law that you have been allocated.
Legal Advice Centre (LAC)
The LAC gives you a chance to interview a real client face-to-face, over the phone or via email. You will be put in pairs, given the details of a client’s issue and then begin carrying out legal research, interviewing the client and preparing a letter of advice following the interview. This is fully supervised by the tutors or local solicitors involved in the scheme, and normally takes place at the University.
We have close links to the local Witness Service Units in the criminal courts in Mold, Wrexham, Caernarvon, Crewe, Liverpool and Birkenhead.
As part of helping with this service, you will be placed in the courts to shadow the witness support workers, providing an excellent opportunity to have a look behind the scenes in court and even interview witnesses.
National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV)
This is an organisation that helps victims of domestic violence seek an injunction against their abusers.
A full day of training would be provided at our Manchester Campus as you will need to have knowledge of the law relating to domestic violence and a working knowledge of NCDV proceedings to become involved in this programme. Once trained, you are placed on a rota to interview the client over the phone using a pro forma, and would then be required to fill in the necessary paperwork to get the matter to court, so that they can obtain an injunction.
Domestic Abuse Family Safety Unit
Working out of Cheshire West and Chester Council, this is an opportunity to help victims of domestic abuse apply for court orders. Training would be provided prior to starting on this programme.
Citizens Advice (CA)
This is an opportunity to become involved with CA, either as an Adviceline Assessor, a Generalist Adviser, a Gateway Adviser or a receptionist. We currently have connections with the Northwich, Winsford, Flintshire, Denbighshire, Liverpool and Halton sites.
Child and Family Contact Centres
A Child Contact Centre is a meeting place where children of separated families can enjoy contact with one or both parents, and sometimes other family members, in a comfortable and safe environment when there is no viable alternative. You could support at one of these centres as we have connections with local sites in Southport, Bootle, Bury, Rochdale and Lancaster.
Personal Support Unit (PSU)
The PSU is a small independent charity that offers free, independent and confidential non-legal support to litigants, their family members and other supporters, dealing with clients’ requests that vary from the simple to the very complex. The overall aim of the charity is to help litigants better understand the court process.
Cheshire, Halton & Warrington Race and Equality Centre (CHAWREC)
This Chester-based scheme offers a free, independent and confidential discrimination casework service. As a volunteer, you would be expected to provide support and assistance to the discrimination caseworkers with their cases and would receive on-the-job training.
National Justice Museum
The thinking behind the project is ultimately to deter children from offending in the future. As part of this programme, you would work in court during a mock trial, talking to school children about court procedures and the law involved. It is an opportunity for you and the children to meet with a real defendant, and also a valuable opportunity to network with practitioners.
We offer shadowing opportunities at Liverpool Family and Civil Court. Dates for these are sent out to students on a regular basis and are allocated on a first come first served basis.
Second Voice Advocacy Scheme
This advocacy scheme would see you working alongside young people living in the Wrexham area, to help them express their wishes, and if appropriate, speak on their behalf. As part of this opportunity you would be required to complete a training course that will count towards a qualification.