In 2019 we opened Birmingham City University Law Clinic, a dedicated and confidential space for our Law students to undertake pro-bono work and give legal advice to members of the local community.
Here at the School of Law we want make sure that our students are given the opportunity to get real, practical work experience within the legal sector in order to boost their employability and enhance their legal skills. The Law Clinic works alongside established legal organisations so that students get to work with real life clients whilst receiving support from professionals.
The Central England Law Centre
The Central England Law Centre involves our students in their Welfare Benefits clinic, with some students even representing their clients at the Tribunal for Welfare Benefits appeals.
Habib Ullah, a solicitor at Central England Law Centre said, “I have been pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm and eagerness of the student advisers. They have shown their academic and intellectual maturity by coming to grips with benefits legislation to an extent that they are able to represent at the First Tier Tribunal level. The clients we have had have been full of praise for the students and they have really appreciated the advice and assistance they have received”.
The Central England Law Centre also works with students to give them experience in areas such as immigration, housing and employment.
Katherine King, a Solicitor at Central England Law Centre, said, “The students we work with have benefited from the experience by using the skills they have learned to gain roles in the legal sector, and it has also helped them to secure much sought after training contracts. We have a growing number of BCU alumni joining us at the Law Centre!”
The Support Through Court
The Support Through Court charity gives students the opportunity to volunteer at the county court to support those who cannot afford legal help. The charity has also worked with our School to set up the Support Through Court Helpline – a national service running from our Law Clinic and staffed by our very own Law students!
Manager at Support Through Court, Chris Moore, said, “By providing support in real-life cases, students can gain experience in court processes whilst also developing their ability to support clients in what can often be extremely difficult situations. The students’ ability to quickly understand processes to enable them to better support clients, during what has been an extremely testing time for most, is a testament to both the students and BCU itself”.
Students can also volunteer with the Family Litigants in Person Scheme to get involved in family law issues, as well as SOS!SEN, where they can assist families of young people with Special Educational Needs.
What our students say
"It has been a joy and privilege to undertake a placement at the Law Clinic. It has been both educational and insightful. The Law Clinic is a real benefit for those looking to lay the foundations of their legal career. It’s great experience and exposure. It is a good way for students to make a connection with the community and this reflects positively on your CV when applying for mini-pupillages or vacation schemes."
Julius Mbugua, Law student
"I think the Law Clinic offers a great opportunity to get a taste of the legal environment and work. I always enjoy the hands-on experience I am gaining. The awesome team of professionals create a relaxed and inviting work atmosphere. It is simply a pleasure."
Anja Smeding, Law student