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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law SchoolUndergraduate study

Clinical Legal Education

The University of Southampton Law School’s Clinical Legal Education initiative offers students the opportunity to engage in experiential learning through its Legal Clinic.

Contact us

Email:legalclinic@soton.ac.uk

Client Enquiry Form

What is pro bono?

Pro bono is the provision of legal assistance undertaken voluntarily and without payment. It is derived from the Latin phrase pro bono publico, meaning ‘for the public good’. In other words, legal knowledge ought to help not just individuals and groups, but also to improve society. While pro bono is not a substitute for legal aid services, demand for it remains high.

Areas of Clinical Legal Education

Client Appointment Clinic

The Legal Clinic offers free confidential advice to the public as well as University staff and students. Since the introduction of funding cuts to legal aid, few individuals have access to legal advice and assistance.  Consequently, the Clinic aims to promote access to justice to the community by providing students with the opportunity to deliver pro bono advice and assistance to those who need it the most.

Junior Lawyers Against Poverty (JLAP)

Clinic students can apply to become members of Junior Lawyers Against Poverty (JLAP) and take part in delivering Legal Confidence Sessions aimed at informing and empowering communities by helping them navigate the complexities of law and procedure.

Commercial Law Clinic

Clinic students will be given the opportunity to work on commercial contracts.

Environmental Law and Animal Welfare Clinic

The Clinic has proudly partnered with A-Law, a UK based charity that promotes the interests of animals. The Clinic is also a member of the Environmental Law Foundation, a UK based environmental charity. Clinic students will have opportunities to work closely with both charities.

Drop-in Centre

The drop-in centre is in the process of being established. We would expect this clinic to be running in the summer of 2024.

Why take part in the Clinics?

Taking part in the Clinic can help you:

FAQs Client Appointment Clinic

Who can access the Legal Clinic’s services?

The Legal Clinic is open to members of the public as well as University staff and students.

Is the advice confidential?

The Clinic has a duty of confidentiality towards its clients. This duty continues even after the Clinic is no longer acting for the client. The term ‘client’, therefore, includes current and former clients.

All client information is kept confidential unless disclosure is required or permitted by law, or the client consents to the disclosure. For further details, please see the Solicitors Regulation Authorities rules on confidentiality and disclosure.

What assistance will I receive from the Clinic?

Assistance is usually in the form of a written letter of advice. Where appropriate, the Clinic may provide other forms of assistance with your case, such as form filling, letter writing, or attending court with you as a McKenzie Friend.

The Clinic operates using the following model:

  1. On receipt a client’s online form, the Clinic Director will assess whether the case can be taken on.
  2. The case will then be assigned to two Law students who will contact the to arrange an initial meeting. This meeting can be either online or in-person.
  3. During the initial client meeting, the students will gather information about the case and take copies of any relevant documents.
  4. Following the interview, the students will research the case and meet with their superviser in order to draft a letter of advice.
  5. The client will receive a letter of advice and offered the opportunity to attend a second meeting to discuss the contents of the advice letter.

The Clinic aims to assist in the following areas:

  • civil litigation
  • commercial
  • criminal
  • education
  • employment
  • family
  • housing
  • neighbour disputes
  • welfare benefits

Are there any cases/disputes that cannot be accepted by the Legal Clinic?

Due to regulatory requirements, the Clinic is unable to assist in the following areas:

  • debt
  • immigration
  • any formal steps in the proceedings such as service of the claim form
  • preparation of witness statements, interim applications and hearings, as well as any other formal step in proceedings
  • representing clients in courts or tribunals. This is for both educational and professional reasons
  • there may be other circumstances where we are unable to accept a case due to sufficient resources.  By submitting the enquiry form we will be able to assess and confirm whether we can assist you

How do I contact the Legal Clinic for advice?

Please complete the online form in the first instance, this will provide us with the information we need to assess whether the Clinic can take on your case.

What is the process once my case is taken on?

Once we receive and accept your case, two of our Student Advisors will contact you via email to arrange a meeting. They will advise what documentation you need and, for in person meetings, provide details of how to find our offices on Highfield Campus. At the meeting, the Student Advisors will provide further information on the next steps.

Can I drop in at any time?

Unfortunately, the Legal Clinic is appointment-only. We cannot accept any walk-in enquiries. Please use the form to contact us in the first instance. We will then arrange a mutually convenient time to meet.

Are meetings In-person or online?

We can accommodate both. Meetings will all be by appointment only. The Legal Clinic has a secure and private Meeting Room on Highfield Campus that we can be book for your meeting.

Is the Clinic regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority?

The Legal Clinic is a student-led and unregulated. Students volunteering in the Clinic are, therefore, ‘non-authorised persons’. Clinic students offer legal support under the supervision of members of staff. The University cannot guarantee the accuracy of the advice given, and we strongly recommend that you also seek advice from a qualified lawyer. 

FAQs Drop In Centre

The drop-in centre is in the process of being established. We would expect this clinic to be running in the summer of 2024.   

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