Kent Uni law clinic seeks £4.7m for expansion

The University of Kent’s ­prestigious law clinic is calling for ­support to significantly expand its facilities in a bid to improve client service.

John Fitzpatrick

John Fitzpatrick

The clinic, which has scooped a number of awards including Best Contribution by a Law School in the Attorney General’s 2011 pro bono awards, is hoping to raise around £4.7m for a new building and to ­create a mooting chamber.

Director of the clinic Professor John Fitzpatrick said: “We’ve outgrown our accommodation and want better recruitment of staff and students.

“We’re hoping to expand substantially [in numbers], to have more room to breathe and to provide a ­better service for clients.”

The official campaign will be launched early next year with the support of the university and will target alumni and law firms, as well as individuals or trusts.

To date the law clinic has raised £500,000 through a single donation from a former University of Kent ­student.

The law school is keen to expand its mooting opportunities by creating a bespoke mooting space that emulates a real court.

Fitzpatrick hopes that both the expanded clinic and the creation of a mooting chamber will benefit ­students by ­helping them to develop key skills and confidence, as well as providing them with different ways of learning about the law.

As part of the campaign, Fitzpatrick is hoping to develop the immigration and asylum section of the clinic by appointing a lawyer with specialist knowledge.

“Immigration and asylum is an issue that we can help with as well being an important area that law ­students should be exposed to and get ­experience in,” he said. “It’s
also an area that’s desperately needed in light of the withdrawal of legal aid.”