UWE and Bristol Uni launch pro bono unit

The University of the West of England (UWE) and the University of Bristol have joined forces to launch a pioneering pro bono unit.

UWE LPC student Nicola Cunnington and committee member of the Community Legal Advice and Representation Unit (CLARS) said the new unit advises on a wide variety of cases such as employment law and criminal injuries compensation appeals.

Its such an amazing thing to be part of. Undergraduate students can get to work alongside LPC and BVC students and put into practice what theyre learning in class, said Cunnington.

Since October more than 200 students, lecturers and barristers from both institutions have been working together in collaboration with the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Bristol and the Western Circuit’s Free Representation Unit to provide legal advice for the local community.

UWE has also kick-started two other pro bono inititives alongside CLARS – an Innocence Project and Street Law.

The first scheme will see a group of students investigate, under the supervision of a practising lawyer, the case of a convicted person maintaining innocence, who has exhausted the initial appeals process.

The latter co-ordinates UWE law student visits to schools and community centres in the surrounding area in a bid to educate youngsters on their rights and responsibilities in relation to the law.