Published: 26 April 2018 at 13:41
New Anglia Ruskin initiative offers free, independent and confidential legal advice
Anglia Ruskin University has launched a Law Clinic on its Cambridge campus – the first of its kind in the city – offering free, independent and confidential legal advice to the public.
The Law Clinic, which will be officially opened on Tuesday, 1 May, is initially focusing on two areas of law – family law issues including relationship breakdown, separation and divorce, domestic abuse, and child custody and visitation rights, and employment issues such as unfair dismissal and discrimination.
The Clinic also offers a free form filling service for some family law court forms and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
The Law Clinic is working in partnership with the local legal community and organisations such as Citizens Advice, Relate and Women’s Aid to widen access to professional legal advice. It also aims to develop capable and confident law students with practical knowledge, skills and experience.
All legal advice is provided by qualified lawyers, with Anglia Ruskin students carrying out background interviews to collect details in advance. The students also sit in on the meetings with solicitors and take notes to help improve their interviewing and client-facing skills.
The Law Clinic is currently being supported by solicitors from Woodfines, Miller Sands, Thomson Webb & Corfield, FM Family Law, Ashtons Legal and Tees Law, as well as 14 barristers from Fenners Chambers.
Sarah Calder, Director of the Anglia Ruskin Law Clinic, said:
“Thanks to the input from local legal professionals, advice agencies and student advisors, we are hoping to address some of the unmet need for legal advice which has increased following cutbacks in public funding for legal aid.
“As well as the cost issues, some people can feel intimidated visiting a law firm. Our aim is to make legal advice as accessible as possible.
“We are the first LawWorks network clinic within the county and there are no geographical limits on who can use our services. In fact we’ve already had people travel down from as far as Peterborough to see us.”
To book a free 30-minute face-to-face appointment with a volunteer solicitor and student advisor, complete the confidential online enquiry form. Family law advice sessions run every Wednesday morning and employment sessions operate on a fortnightly basis.