Student Legal Advice Centre

The Student Legal Advice Centre was established within Derby Law School in February 2019. It provides members of the public with free legal advice on a wide range of areas of law. 

The University of Derby's Student Legal Advice Centre was recently shortlisted for Best Contribution by a Law School at the LawWorks and Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards 2022 and was highly commended at the LawWorks Pro Bono Awards 2021 for Best contribution in relation to the Centre’s Immigration Family Reunion Clinic. 

Aims

Our Legal Advice Clinic 

Members of the public can book appointments with our law students through our centralised email (studentlegaladvicecentre@derby.ac.uk). Students will then meet with the client at an online meeting, assess their circumstances during an interview, and then if within the remit of the Centre's clinics, will offer free assistance by way of written guidance under the supervision of qualified legal professionals.

The Centre offers assistance in the following areas:

The Student Legal Advice Centre also offers support to Litigants in Person in Family Law matters at the Family Court at Derby. If you are representing yourself in a Family Law matter, a student volunteer can attend Court with you to support you, take notes and following the hearing discuss the outcome of the hearing with you.

  1. Family Law and Criminal Injury Compensation Authority Claims clinics are open every Thursday between 1 pm and 5 pm.**
  2. Immigration Family Reunion clinic is open every other Wednesday between 1 pm to 5 pm.**
  3. Legal Triage Clinic is open every other Wednesday during the semester time 1 pm to 5 pm.

Support at Court for matters before the Family Court at Derby is available throughout the year**

These clinics are supervised by the director of the Student Legal Advice Centre, Kaye Howells.

**These clinics are open year through, bar 2 weeks at Christmas, 2 weeks at Easter and 2 weeks in the summer period.

The Business Law Clinic is open on Tuesdays from 1 pm to 5 pm by supervising solicitor, Dr Jennifer L L Gant. This clinic is open year through, bar 2 weeks at Christmas, 2 weeks at Easter and 4 weeks in the summer period. 

A student having a meeting with a client

Almost 500 clients helped so far

Our Student Legal Advice Centre provides free legal advice to the local community. It's been operating for four years now and continues to go from strength to strength.

Find out more about the impact it has had alreadyFind out more about the impact it has had already

Scope of the Business Law Clinic

What we are unable to do:

*Please note this list is not exhaustive.

To arrange an appointment for any of these clinics, please email studentlegaladvicecentre@derby.ac.uk, stating in the subject the clinic for which you would like to make an appointment.

Our Research-Based Clinics

The Centre also has research-based clinics that allow students an opportunity to increase their research, writing and presentation skills on relevant and current issues.

The Justice Project is available to first-year students in the first year of undergraduate legal studies. During the project, students work on a current issue together in a group, which for the 2022/23 academic year has been focused on carbon literacy and environmental issues. Later in the year, our justice project students will present their findings at an event that includes local professionals, judges, and policymakers as well as staff and students from all over the University.

The Policy Clinic is available to second and third-year undergraduate and postgraduate law students and aims to provide a policy report or other written outcomes to an external client, frequently a non-governmental organisation. From 2021-2023, the Policy Clinic has been focused on a policy project focused on the criminalisation of youth poverty in India under a brief provided by the International Bridges for Justice entitled 'Exploring the Nexus between Poverty and the Criminal Justice System in India.' With the support of the International Bridges for Justice, it is expected that the clinic will produce a policy paper by the end of the 2022/23 academic year.

The Centre has recently launched an International Human Rights Law Clinic for Non-Governmental Organisations and lawyers. The Clinic is available to both undergraduate and postgraduate law students and provides research briefings to external clients in international human rights. The clinic is open on Thursdays from 3 pm to 5 pm and is supervised by Dr Muin Boase.

They really gave me confidence to sort the finances out – each email I received was straightforward and everything they said made sense. It would have been a real struggle without them.

Steve
Student Legal Advice Centre client

Student involvement

As a student of Derby Law School, you will have the opportunity to become involved with the Centre from the outset of your degree. Depending on the clinic with which you volunteer within the Centre, you will have the opportunity to meet with clients, take instructions, carry out research and advise accordingly in writing.

First-year students are currently involved in a Justice Project. This promotes the teaching of law to all members of the community, including school children, by informing them of their legal rights and responsibilities.

Second-year students have the opportunity to become involved in the Immigration Family Reunion Clinic. The Centre partners with the British Red Cross and Paragon Law in the delivery of this service. Second-year students will also have the opportunity to become involved in the Legal Triage Clinic.

Third-year students are involved in the Family Law Clinic and Support at Court for Litigants in Person. Third-year students will also have the opportunity to become involved in the Business Clinic. 

Both undergraduate and postgraduate students have the opportunity to volunteer in the Centre’s Policy Clinic and International Human Rights Clinic, which carry out research for non-government organisations. 

A law student in the courtroom

I have loved working in the Student Legal Advice Centre. Not only has it helped me to develop practical legal skills, but it has also helped to improve my emotional intelligence due to dealing with sensitive issues.

Sophie Spencer
LLB (Hons)