Pro bono publico is a Latin term meaning “for the public good.” University of Law (ULaw) students can volunteer their time to undertake pro bono with the University of Law Legal Advice Centre (ULLAC), the Streetlaw programme or apply to take part in an external placement with a diverse range of opportunities on offer each year.
University of Law Legal Advice Centre (ULLAC)
Our Legal Advice Centre has been established in Bloomsbury since 1999 and, through the law clinic, advises clients on employment and family law matters. The law clinic is entirely virtual and accessible to all. A wide range of experienced volunteer lawyers including barristers, in-house counsel and solicitors from private firms take part in the law clinic, and you will have the opportunity to see these lawyers at work.
Whilst working in the Legal Advice Centre you can gain insight into the workings of a legal practice and have the chance to give much needed help to members of the community. This opportunity may help you to gain interviewing, legal research and drafting skills in preparation for legal practice. Our trained student assistants draft attendance notes in the law clinic advice session and provide referral and general information to clients.
If you are an undergraduate or don’t have enough time to participate as a student assistant, we also offer students the opportunity to attend a ULLAC Taster Session, where you can observe the legal advice session without having the responsibility of drafting any documents.
Pro Bono Placements
Our placements are recruited at different points in the year depending on need. They allow students the opportunity to volunteer for one day a week or more with not-for-profit organisations and charities who are keen to recruit law students to assist their clients. Placements are subject to change each year depending on the needs of external organisations. Examples of organisations we have worked with include Citizens Advice, Law Centres, Amnesty International, Intervene, IPSEA, St Mungo’s, SPSAS, Employment Litigants in Person, CENlive and the National Centre for Domestic Violence.
Each year we organise a number of court visits which are open to all students. Visiting a court is a fascinating experience and a really good way to learn about the court system and the judiciary. Examples of court visits we have organised in the past include visits to the Supreme Court and the Royal Courts of Justice in Central London. Usually, court staff provide a talk about the court, and students are often able to talk to a judge and watch a hearing.
We run various mock trial initiatives where students get the opportunity to participate in advocacy based on a criminal case 'heard' before a judge in a court room. This is particularly good for students who are intending upon a career at the Bar. It also builds confidence, legal research skills, teamwork, and networking skills as you will be working with senior members of the legal profession.
This is an innovative public legal education programme where students volunteer to deliver presentations to schools or community groups. Students devise and deliver these on different areas of law according to our clients’ needs. You might be delivering a presentation on stop and search or explaining the process of making a claim to an employment tribunal. All Streetlaw presentations delivered through ULaw are supervised by experienced solicitors.
London Legal Walk
Each year we organise a ULaw team of walkers who obtain sponsorship to walk 10K round legal London! You will help raise money to enable those in desperate need of legal advice obtain access to justice. It is also a fantastic way to network with lawyers as thousands participate. It ends with a fun street party in Chancery Lane at the Law Society.
Some of the activities we run at our London Bloomsbury include:
Commercial Awareness Programme
Each year we have a range of speakers who give presentations on their own experiences in commercial practice and key issues facing lawyers.
Recent presentations include:
- Client care
- Life as an In-House Lawyer/ Intellectual Property Lawyer/ Commercial Pensions Lawyer/ Corporate Finance Lawyer
- Mediation in practice
- Money laundering
- The Solicitors’ firm as a business
- Things you should know before going into practice
- What firms look for in a trainee
- How to succeed at the Junior Bar.
Winning entries are selected by a judging panel comprising of professional photographers with the best submissions going on sale to students and staff, with profits going to a chosen charity.
Mooting is the oral presentation of a legal issue or problem against an opposing counsel and before a judge. Run on a knock-out basis, the preliminary rounds are judged by fellow students, with the final rounds judged by practitioners. Our students frequently go on to take part in national and international mooting competitions.
Technology and Innovation Forum
Learn about different legal sectors such as technology law, environmental law and media law, and how those sectors utilise technology within their business.
Medical Law & Ethics Forum
A series of lectures from leading practitioners in medical law – a developing area which crosses the boundaries between public and private law.
Commercial Law Forum
Events for students and staff that are interested in all areas of commercial law and practice including topics such as franchising.
Criminal Justice and Human Rights Forum
An opportunity for students and staff to consider and discuss issues of social justice, criminology and policing - topics which often motivate people to work in law-related sectors in the first place.