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New Teesside University law clinic to benefit community

10 September 2012 @TeesUniNews

 

Teesside University is to launch a new law clinic which will offer free legal advice and representation to the local community.

Teesside Law Clinic will have a dual purpose – to give law students real practical experience of handling legal cases and offering a service to the community in cases where people may otherwise find it difficult to afford legal advice and representation.

Cases will be referred to Teesside Law Clinic by organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau and Victim Support services. Students will be supervised by both University staff and solicitors from local law firms.

Law lecturer Andrew Perriman believes it is a great opportunity both for students and the community: 'Achieving a professional career in law is not an easy route. There is widespread competition for positions. Teesside Law Clinic will give our students practical experience which will make them more attractive to employers.'

Harri Singh, 20, and Helen Peebles, 21, both applied for the module to undertake work in the clinic and were two of 14 students chosen to take part in the module.

'It is an excellent opportunity and I am really looking forward to taking on cases,' said Harri.

'I have done pro bono work for the Citizens Advice Bureau which is good experience but Teesside Law Clinic will give me a chance to take on my own cases and see them through from start to finish.'

Helen adds: 'It is such a competitive field that it is difficult even to get work experience so this is a great way of getting hands-on practise. There is a big difference between the academic work and actually carrying out legal practice duties so having the opportunity to do so will be amazing.'

All students will be in their final year of their degree and each will carry out 400 hours of practice. In the first year Teesside Law Clinic has planned to take on between 50-70 cases.

'With advice and representation that would otherwise cost in excess of £100 per hour, this free service will be valuable to the Tees Valley community,' Andrew said.

Working in partnership The University is working in partnership with Jacksons Law Firm who will be providing a pro bono trainee solicitor to work alongside the students offering professional advice and assisting their work under the guidance of solicitors within Jacksons.

Dr Mark Simpson, Dean of the School of Social Sciences & Law, said: 'The support of Jacksons has been invaluable to the creation of Teesside Law Clinic and the School is now looking to further develop the clinic's relationship with other legal firms in the region who will work alongside Jacksons in supporting the students and the clinic.'

Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Henderson CBE DL added: 'This is another example of Teesside University working in partnership with business, benefitting the local community and ensuring our students are equipped with the extra skills employers want from graduates. I wish the students, staff and partners the very best for this exciting new venture.'

Lauren Parry, solicitor at Jacksons Law, said: 'I know students find the legal careers market very competitive, and the job is probably harder than it used to be. But for those who really want to choose it as their vocation, and for the right reasons, it remains a uniquely satisfying way of life and an attainable goal.

'The Teesside Law Clinic which Andrew and his team have put together with such professionalism and attention to detail will, I know, help students make their decisions and reach their goals, at the same time providing a valuable service to the Teesside community.'

Teesside Law Clinic can be contacted on 01642 738738, or by emailing lawclinic@tees.ac.uk.


In the News

Legal launch
Northern Echo, 26/09/2012, p.22
Teesside University is to launch a law clinic that will offer free legal advice and representation to the local community. Teesside Law Clinic will give law students practical experience of handling c


Teesside University coverage
BBC Radio Tees, Neil Green, 20/09/2012, 17:40:25
Teesside University has set up a new law clinic that will offer free legal advice and representation in the region.


Students on the case at Teesside University
Gazette Live (Web), 11/09/2012; Evening Gazette, 11/09/2012, p.10
Free legal advice will be on offer at Teesside University in a joint venture which will also give law students practical experience. It is hoped the Teesside Law Clinic will give graduates the edge wh