Pro bono is an increasingly important part of legal education and practice that is both challenging and rewarding. At The University of Law we have been committed to providing a pro bono service since 2001. There may be some changes each year, but below are details of current pro bono schemes to give you an idea of the opportunities open to Nottingham students.
Legal Advice Clinic (LAC)
The LAC provides free, preliminary legal advice to the public on a wide variety of housing issues, mainly focusing on Landlord and Tenant issues. Whilst volunteering in the LAC, you will be given the opportunity to interview a client and produce a Letter of Advice. You will be supervised by our Supervising Solicitor, in order to help you gain interviewing, drafting, legal research and file management skills through hands-on experience in dealing with real life legal cases.
Family Advice Midlands (FAM)
Run in conjunction with local law firm, Knights, this initiative is a free advice service for clients with family law matters. You will gain experience in interviewing clients to obtain initial information in respect of the matter and drafting attendance notes. You will also observe a volunteer lawyer providing legal advice at one of our fortnightly FAM Advice Clinics.
Small Business Advice Line (SBAL)
This is a national initiative, which is available to students studying in Nottingham. This is a virtual Legal Advice Clinic for Small Businesses, which provides a free 30-minute advice appointment with a Commercial Solicitor. You will be expected to contact the client in advance of the advice appointment to obtain instructions on their matter and prepare a comprehensive attendance note, which will be shared with the advising solicitor.
Wills, Trusts and Estate Disputes Advice Line (WTED)
This is a national initiative, which is available to students studying in Nottingham. Similar to SBAL but this opportunity will give you experience of private client related matters.
Streetlaw aims to raise awareness of legal rights and responsibilities within the community by providing engaging workshops and presentations on various legal topics, such as Sexting & Cyberbullying. You would work in a team to produce an interactive workshop on a legal topic, helping you to develop your teamwork, legal research and presentation skills.
We also work in collaboration with a number of local and national organisations to provide further pro bono opportunities for our students externally.
Citizen’s Advice Witness Support Service
Students volunteer to provide support and give information to witnesses in our local courts. Once trained, you can attend court with the client to support them before, during and after giving evidence at criminal trials.
Employment Tribunal Marshalling
Why not spend time shadowing a local Employment Tribunal Judge? This invaluable experience will enable you to gain an insight into employment law and tribunal practice and will provide you with an opportunity to network with the local judiciary.
National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV)
This organisation provides fast, free legal advice and support for victims of domestic violence. In particular it runs an emergency injunction service allowing anybody, regardless of financial circumstances to obtain protection through the civil courts (usually an injunction) within 24 hours. After suitable training, you could volunteer with NCDV, as a caseworker.
Schools Consent Project
This charity sends lawyers and law students into schools to deliver hour-long workshops on the legal definition of sexual consent and key sexual offences. The Charity aims to normalise conversations about consent in order to challenge sexually harmful attitudes amongst young people, as well as empowering students to give, withdraw or withhold their consent, and to call out non-consensual sexual activity in others. Once trained, you will be given the opportunity to deliver their workshops in classrooms.
National Justice Museum
The National Justice Museum Education provides learning opportunities for children, young people and disadvantaged groups in heritage sites and sites of legal interest. They use these sites to inspire and provide opportunities to learn about the law, increase legal literacy and raise aspirations and social mobility. You would assist the Learning Manager with groups of young people from various educational establishments and this will take place in a courtroom environment.