The School of Law, Accounting and Finance has a long-standing commitment to enhancing employability for our graduates, demonstrated for example by our second and third year LLB modules Reflections on Legal Advice Work which develops students’ practical skills, their understanding of the principles of client care and provides an opportunity to reflect on the current problems facing local communities. The modules won the University’s prestigious Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award.
To increase our students’ opportunities for legal pro-bono work, we have set up the Legal and Financial Advice Clinic in the centre of Cardiff. The Clinic is a free community-based face-to-face advice service staffed by trained Student Clinic Volunteers working under the supervision of practising solicitors and barristers.
How does the Legal Advice Clinic work?We run free public appointments where Students (with qualified legal supervision) interview and assess clients, and then draw up legal advice in several legal areas such as employment, housing, debt, family and contract matters. We may also be able to assist in other areas of law utilising our links with local firms such as Capital Law, Harding Evans and Howells who also provide free legal advice and support to the clinic.
The Clinic provides a valuable community service and is an excellent training ground for the students and allows them to develop transferable skills to enhance their employability and gain experience of how the law actually impacts on the lives of real people. They also get to network with legal professionals so that they can enhance their skills in the legal arena.
Often clients do not arrive at the Clinic with a clearly identified legal problem and the students learn to assist clients in translating their concerns into legally recognisable categories and provide concise explanations of legal concepts and processes which can be entirely new to people.
Students can now take part in the clinic as a formal module for their undergraduate studies or they can volunteer in order to develop their skills. As well as initial and on-the-job training and supervision, the students will also receive ongoing instruction in matters such as ethics, office management and case handling systems.
If you are a current or potential student, or a representative of a local legal firm and would like more information about the Legal and Financial Advice Clinic, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The importance of this clinic is not to be underestimated. Not only is it an important facility for the community to provide access to legal advice where legal aid is no longer available but it is an excellent opportunity for the students to gain the practical skills that are required and highly sought after if they are seeking a career within the highly competitive legal profession. Craig Court, Harding Evans