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Free family law advice on offer to the community

Published: 7 September 2018 at 15:58


Anglia Ruskin University to launch Law Clinic next month on Chelmsford campus

Anglia Ruskin University is launching a new Law Clinic next month in Chelmsford, which will offer free legal advice to members of the public.

The clinic will be part of the national Law Works network and will be staffed by Anglia Ruskin Law students, who will be supported by solicitors from Tees Law in Chelmsford.

It will begin by offering family law advice on a fortnightly basis and will build on the success of the Law Clinic on Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus, which was launched in May.  In its first three months of operation the Cambridge centre provided free legal advice to 114 clients, worth over £10,000.

As well as offering an invaluable service to the local community – cuts in funding mean that few people now qualify for legal aid in family law cases – the Law Clinic will provide Anglia Ruskin Law students with real-life experience of interviewing clients, under the supervision of qualified solicitors.

Sarah Calder, Director of the Anglia Ruskin Law Clinic, said: 

“Feedback from our first three months of operation in Cambridge shows that we are viewed by the local community as delivering an excellent service. 

“In response to demand we will be expanding our family law service in Cambridge from September and will be launching a new Law Clinic in Chelmsford, which will also offer form-filling assistance as well as the opportunity to further support clients in the family court.

“The Law Clinic gives student volunteers the opportunity to build their confidence as they are given responsibility to interact with real people with real problems.  They are also encouraged to develop networking skills and build professional relationships as they are given a unique opportunity to meet with a range of local legal practitioners.  

“Volunteering in the Law Clinic greatly enhances the students’ employability in general terms and particularly in the eyes of local law firms, who are recognising the talents of students on their doorstep.”

The Law Clinic on the Cambridge campus is staffed by Anglia Ruskin students supported by solicitors from eight Cambridge firms and barristers from Fenners Chambers.  It offers advice in the areas of family and employment law, as well as a free form-filling service. 

From this term, the Cambridge Law Clinic will be offering twice-weekly family law advice sessions and will be increasing the team involved in form-filling support. A pilot for a Support at Court scheme, being led by Citizens Advice Cambridge, will also begin this month.  This will see experienced Law Clinic Student Advisors offer face-to-face support and guidance to litigants arriving for hearings at Cambridge Family Court.