York Law School Clinic expands its service

Posted on 20 September 2011

The York Law School Clinic at the University of York is expanding its free legal advice service with the appointment of a trainee solicitor and the involvement of more student advisors.

Trainee solicitor Jenny Edwards joined the team in September 2011 and, with other professionally qualified staff, will help supervise a team of 80 students offering advice on issues ranging from problems claiming benefits, to setting up a new business to difficulties at home, work or school.

The clinic provides an opportunity for students to gain experience and put theory into practice, while at the same time providing a valuable service to the public

Jenny Edwards

The York Law School Clinic opened for business in January with 20 student advisors who dealt with over 30 cases before the summer vacation. Due to both student and client demand and the positive feedback received, a much larger team of students – all studying law at the University - will be on hand to offer free legal advice to the local York community in the new academic year.

Jenny Edwards brings to her new role her experience as an Advice Session Supervisor with the Citizens Advice Bureau in Cheshire. There she ran daily advice sessions and supervised a team of volunteers offering free legal advice on issues ranging from employment and housing law to benefits.

Jenny Edwards said: “The clinic provides an opportunity for students to gain experience and put theory into practice, while at the same time providing a valuable service to the public.

“There are likely to be some substantial cuts to legal aid in the future making it difficult for people to gain free legal advice, which will make services like those provided by the York Law School Clinic even more important.”

The clinic is based in the York Law School, recently ranked second among all university law schools by the Sunday Times University Guide 2012. Part of the University’s £750 million Heslington East campus expansion, the York Law School opened last year.  

Anyone from York and the surrounding area is welcome to contact the Clinic for an appointment for free, confidential advice.

Student advisors interview clients, find out their concerns and look into these. After consulting with professional lawyers, they then provide written advice to clients informing them of their position and what they may be able to do.

Richard Grimes, a qualified solicitor and the University’s Director of Clinical Programmes, said: “We aim to hit the standards required of any solicitor and everything the clinic does is overseen by experienced staff. We cannot guarantee to assist in every case but if we can, we will. Where we are unable to do so, we will try to find alternative sources of help for clients.”

For more information or to book an appointment, telephone the York Law School Clinic on 01904 325819 or email law-clinic@york.ac.uk.