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Southampton Law SchoolUndergraduate study

Pro Bono Initiatives

Southampton Law School offers a wide range of pro bono initiatives for undergraduate LLB students, with projects open to any students wishing to give up their time voluntarily to help others.

The clinics advise students across a spectrum of complex matters, and in doing so supporting access to justice at a time when legal aid is in short supply. As the clinics are run by final year LLB students, in conjunction with specialist lawyers, involvement in the clinics facilitates the development of key skills, including client interviewing, team-work and case management.

All projects are supported and assisted by Southampton Law School academic staff, who work collaboratively with local and national law firms. Pro bono work is extremely popular with aspiring barristers and solicitors alike, enabling students to develop essential transferable skills that will be vital for them in their careers.

We currently offer six pro bono initiatives

Click below to find out more

BarLink

Students who are seriously intending to go to the Bar have the opportunity to be twinned with a Barrister specialising in criminal law, employment law, family law or housing law.

The programme is run collaboratively with Barristers from a local Chambers. 12 College Place, and has proved to be very successful as well as popular. It represents a fantastic opportunity for students and some of those who have taken part have commented below:

“I found the experience extremely useful, not necessarily for developing my knowledge of the law, but understanding the profession I hope to go into. It was helpful hearing from someone who has already had a successful career at the Bar and receiving tips from him about how best to stand out during applications for the BPTC and Pupillage after that.” Abigail Jackson, Year 2

"The BarLink programme allowed me to engage with junior barristers at the Chambers and ask them about their experiences with the Bar Professional Training Course, and develop an understanding of the on-going training that junior barristers undergo upon acquiring a Pupillage. It was particularly interesting to see the law in a practical setting in the County Court, and oversee how discussions with the client prior to the hearing were conducted, in addition to the legal arguments that were presented by counsel presenting each party concerned."Ben Coffey, Year 2 

“BarLink has been an invaluable experience. I was able to shadow a local practitioner and see what their daily work entails. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills and put my knowledge to a test. Being able to see the ins and outs of the courtroom in family law proceedings allowed me to build on my textbook knowledge and develop the practical understanding of how the court process actually works. It has been very helpful in allowing me to pick my career path.” Anna Rychlik, Year 3 

Further information can be found on the BarLink page.

How to Apply

Students will be sent an email at the beginning of the academic year inviting them to apply for a place on the programme.

If you wish to know more about BarLink please contact Jan Steele, Careers and Employability Co-ordinator in the School of Law J.Steele@soton.ac.uk 

Employment Clinic

The Employment Law Clinic is run by final year students studying this area of law at the University of Southampton, under the guidance of a local specialist barrister. It was set up following the success of the Housing Clinic. These clinics were established in order to encourage undergraduate law students to volunteer and gain practical legal work experience, with the support of the University and local practitioners.

Who can seek advice from the Employment Law Clinic?

The clinic offers free legal advice to current University of Southampton students. Employment law issues include discrimination, harassment, contractual issues, dismissal, and status problems. Free consultations are held with our specialist barrister at the Law School, situated on Highfield campus. Student volunteers take notes on the pertinent facts and advice offered during the consultations, which are checked by the barrister, and subsequently emailed to the clients for their future reference.

Educational and employability benefits

Law student volunteers will be equipped with practical skills that are valuable to employers. These include:

  • Interviewing clients
  • Case management
  • Team-working skills
  • Communicating with clients and legal practitioners

How to apply to volunteer

Final year students studying Employment Law will be sent an e-mail at the beginning of the academic year inviting them to apply. This is a highly popular activity and an early application is advised. There is a formal process involved, and word counts/deadlines will be strictly adhered to.

Further information and Contact details

The Employment Clinic is here to help students with employment issues. For further information please email: The Employment clinic

Appointments are held circa monthly at the School of Law, building 4, Highfield Campus.

Housing Clinic

The Housing Law Clinic is run on a voluntary basis by final year law students, in conjunction with local specialist solicitors. It is an excellent opportunity for undergraduate law students to volunteer and gain practical legal work experience, with the support of the University and legal practitioners.

Who can seek advice from the Housing Law Clinic?

The clinic functions as a citizens' advice-style housing clinic, offering free legal consultations for any current University of Southampton student requiring advice on renting property. Every year, similar issues arise involving private rented accommodation on which the clinic can advise. Student volunteers make notes of the consultations, which are checked by the barrister, and then emailed to the clients after their appointments for future reference.

Educational Benefits

Law student volunteers will be equipped with practical skills valuable to employers. These include:

  • Interviewing clients
  • Case management
  • Team-working skills
  • Communicating with clients and legal practitioners

How to apply to volunteer

Final year students studying Housing Law will be sent an email at the beginning of the academic year inviting them to apply. This is a highly popular activity and an early application is advised. There is a formal process involved, and word counts/deadlines will be strictly adhered to.

Further information and contact details

The Clinic is here to help students with housing issues. For further information please email The Housing clinic.

Appointments are held monthly at the School of Law, building 4, Highfield Campus.

Small Business Clinic

The Small Business Clinic is run throughout the academic year by a voluntary group of Law and Business students with the support of a local firm of Chartered Accountants offering FREE initial advice on a range of issues to include all aspects of general, legal and tax compliance matters relating to running a business in the UK.

At the business clinic we help to answer these questions:

  • Whether you have a good business idea?
  • Whether your idea can be developed into a commercial business?
  • How your IP can be safeguarded when dealing with business associates?
  • What is the most appropriate business structure for you?

Clinic days are held once a month.

Further information and contact details

Small Business Clinic

Streetlaw

What is it?

The Streetlaw Programme offers students an excellent opportunity to develop key transferable skills including team work, research, communication, negotiation as well as presentation skills.

What does it involve?

Students deliver an interactive presentation in small teams to educate a group of students at local schools or colleges about their legal rights and responsibilities in relation to a particular issue or area of law. Each team has a tutor and meets for one hour a week for 4 weeks, the presentation takes place in the fifth week. Teams work creatively to develop innovative ways of teaching to inspire their audiences using various mediums, for example – video clips; voting buttons; and participative exercises.

Why do it?

Law students can use their time and expertise to benefit the local community without having to give specific legal advice. The audience gains a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities in relation to the issue and are less likely to develop legal problems and know when to seek help.

It also provides students with an opportunity to understand more about a particular area of law as well as promoting the development of key transferable skills - great for CVs and applications.

What the schools and colleges think about Streetlaw

Thank you so much for the Streetlaw visit on Tuesday, it was brilliant. Our students really enjoyed it (and I think yours did too) and we all learnt a lot about murder! (Crestwood College)

I just wanted to email to say a huge thank you for arranging the Streetlaw presentations today. My students really enjoyed them and were fully engaged throughout, particularly with the problem questions which made them think about the application of law. The hand out will also provide an excellent revision sheet! Not many of our students have the opportunity to talk to under-graduate students about studying law and so this was a great experience for them, but also your students were brilliant at answering general questions about university life, accommodation and the differences between A levels and degrees. I hope it will inspire them to ensure that they achieve the grades they need to get to the University and courses of their choice. (Richard Taunton Sixth Form College)

I am thinking about doing Law and the talk they did was very constructive and helpful to me. (Crestwood College)

Further information can be found on the Streetlaw page.

How to apply

Students interested in taking part in the Streetlaw programme should look out for an email which will be sent at the beginning of the academic year inviting application. The Streetlaw programme is organised by Jan Steele, Careers and Employability Co-ordinator in the School of Law J.Steele@soton.ac.uk 

Family Law Clinic

The clinic is run in conjunction with a solicitor from Irwin Mitchell.

The Family Law Clinic is a voluntary initiative run by final year students studying family law at the University of Southampton, in conjunction with a specialist solicitor from Irwin Mitchell. The clinic was established in 2015 following the success of both the Housing and Employment Law Clinics. These clinics were established to encourage undergraduate law students to volunteer and gain practical legal work experience, with the support of the University and practitioners.

Who does the Family Law Clinic advise?

The Family Law Clinic offers free legal advice to students of the University of Southampton with family law issues. These may include matters relating to child contact and residence, welfare, domestic violence, divorce, child support. The Family Law Clinic offers free consultation appointments with our specialist solicitor at the Law School, situated on Highfield campus.

Educational Benefits

Law students will become equipped with practical skills that are valuable to employers. These include:

  • Interviewing clients
  • Case management
  • Team-working skills
  • Communicating with clients and legal practitioners

 How to apply to volunteer

Final year students studying Family Law will be sent an e-mail at the beginning of the academic year inviting them to apply. This is a highly popular activity and an early application is advised. There is a formal process involved, and word counts/deadlines will be strictly adhered to.

Further information and Contact details

The Family Law Clinic is here to help University of Southampton students with family issues. For further information please email: The Family law clinic

Appointments are held circa monthly at the School of Law, building 4, Highfield Campus.

Southampton Law students investigate controversial joint enterprise laws

In 2018 a group of students from the School worked with the national campaign, JENGbA (Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association). JENGbA’s sustained campaigning resulted in the Supreme Court reaching a landmark decision acknowledging that the law on joint enterprise had been misinterpreted by the courts for over 30 years.

High profile prosecutions under this legislation include those convicted of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, but also many young people who campaigners argue were little more than ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’.

Read more

Careers and Employability

Learn more about how we can help you impress future employers by boosting your employability skills

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