Published: 27 April 2020

Surrey launches Access to Justice Clinic in Guildford

The University of Surrey’s prestigious School of Law has opened an Access to Justice Clinic, to help people within the local community understand their rights and access legal solutions.

The image shows a gavel and scales of justice in a legal office

Surrey’s Access to Justice Clinic, which was set up specifically to offer support to local people, opened on 12 February 2020. The Clinic will give Surrey law students the opportunity to help members of the public by partnering with legal charities and law firms to provide free information, advice and guidance.

The Clinic was launched by Lady Hale, who also delivered this year’s eagerly anticipated Toulson Law Lecture. Both events shared the same aim, to shine a light on the most pressing legal challenges we face as a society.

This community initiative will enable Surrey law students to make a real difference, by volunteering their time to help people understand their rights and how to access legal solutions. Members of the local community can come to the Clinic to receive advice on a broad range of issues, from housing and employment to refugee matters.

Elizabeth Williams, Director of Clinical Legal Education at the University, said: “Through the Clinic’s valuable partnerships with external organisations, our law students are committed to helping members of the public in accessing justice.

Contributing towards the local community is an important part of the School of Law’s ethos and an essential component of legal education. Students gain practical work experience under the supervision of academics and practitioners and the opportunity to research a broad range of legal issues."

The Access to Justice Clinic will work in partnership with non-profit organisations such as Citizens Advice, Lawyers Against Poverty, National Centre for Domestic Violence and The University of Law Legal Advice Centre.

Louise Curd, Coordinator of Lawyers Against Poverty, said: “We are delighted to be working with the School of Law to deliver Legal Confidence sessions aimed to educate and empower refugees by helping them to better understand the UK civil and criminal justice systems and their rights whilst living in the UK. In delivering this project, student volunteers will be working with volunteers from the local legal community and refugee support workers.”

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