Keele Uni launches nationwide legal aid pathway for litigants in person

Keele University has launched a nationwide legal outreach scheme, designed to help guide litigants in person through the legal system.

The initiative, called Community Legal Outreach Collaboration, Keele (CLOCK), was first launched by the university in 2012 but focused only on its local county of Staffordshire. Having since helped 1,500 litigants in person, CLOCK also refers around 12 cases every week for affordable legal services and Legal Aid applications.

The scheme is manned by law students, trained to assist litigants in person and help their local community access legal services.

Keele University legal outreach director Jane Krishnadas said: “Since the cuts to legal aid there have been a number of people unable to access the legal help they need. This is why we started CLOCK.

“CLOCK was set up to draw together the academic, legal, charitable and court sectors, to assist access to services and monitor and identify where individuals have not been able to access fair representation, creating a pathway for the reform of legal aid.

“We believe it’s important that people in need have the necessary backing to get the legal representation required to result in a fair judicial outcome. It’s particularly appropriate that the national roll-out of the initiative coincides with the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. It reminds us of the principles our justice system was founded on and our civil right to assistance and duty to assist.”

The university is currently partnering with the law schools of Birmingham City University, Staffordshire and Wolverhampton to deliver the service in Staffordshire and the West Midlands. Law students at Essex, Liverpool John Moores and Salford universities are being trained to provide the same service in their local areas.

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