An exciting new venture for the University of Derby, the local legal profession, fellow pro bono providers and the community of Derby… | DDLSBulletin

The Launch of the University of Derby Student Legal Advice Centre

An exciting new venture for the University of Derby, the local legal profession, fellow pro bono providers and the community of Derby…

What more apt time to launch the Centre than during National Pro Bono Week!

On 24th October 2018 the Derby Law School held an event to launch the Student Legal Advice Centre.  

The event was attended by many local legal professionals, fellow pro bono providers, the Mayor of Derby and of course some of the students who are involved in the development of the Centre.  

The event gave Sue Jennings, Head of the Law School and Kaye Howells, Student Legal Advice Centre Lead, the opportunity to present the vision of the Centre to all who attended, with four of the Law School’s third year students also having the opportunity to explain what the development of the Centre means for the students of the Law School.  It was an excellent opportunity for all students who attended to experience a networking event.  

The support of all who attended was overwhelming and gratefully received.  

For those who were unable to attend, just a few words on the Student Legal Advice Centre.

The Student Legal Advice Centre will provide free legal advice and assistance to the community of Derby.  Third year students of Derby law School will be client facing.  Fear not, any advice provided will be under the supervision of a suitably qualified member of staff!

The vision for the Centre is three-fold...

To provide the students of Derby Law School with clinical legal education.

To provide the community of Derby with free legal advice and assistance. 

To signpost in circumstances where the Centre is unable to assist.

The emphasis is upon the students having the opportunity to learn through clinical legal education, coupled with the high quality academic teaching they receive at the Law School.  

Initially the Centre will provide advice in relation to family law and CICA, with a plan to then introduce immigration law.  

As emphasised to the students, we cannot run before we can walk!  Therefore we are limiting the areas of advice at this stage.  However, as time progresses we plan to develop the areas of law the Centre will offer advice on.  

The idea of having a “Centre” as opposed to a “Clinic” is for the Centre to be an umbrella for other projects to develop.  An example of this is a student led project to develop a litigant in person help desk at our local court.  Discussions are underway regarding this, with our first step being to visit Leicester with a task group set up by our students to look at a similar project that is underway there and thereafter we will meet with our local judiciary to progress the project.  

Training is being delivered to the students this semester with a view to opening our doors to the public in February 2019.  

Many thanks to those from the local legal profession for taking the time to join us at the Launch. Moving forward, we welcome working with the profession in the development of the Centre.  

If anyone is interested in being involved in the Centre or has any ideas you would like to share with us please contact Kaye Howells ( 01332 591645)