The Personal Support Unit
The Personal Support Unit (PSU) is a national charity that provides free practical and emotional support to litigants in person (LIPs) with cases in the civil and family courts. They provide a vital support to LIPs which includes helping them fill out their court forms and draft legal documentation for their case.
Working in partnership with PSU, King's Legal Clinic is offering King’s law students the opportunity to volunteer for the PSU and gain some legal work experience alongside your studies.
Students from The Dickson Poon School of Law will receive training and supervision from staff at PSU London to volunteer and help LIPs navigate their way through the legal system. Volunteering will allow students to gain a greater understanding of:
- Civil court procedures and how they are used to ensure a case is just and fair.
- Using soft skills, like active listening, when interviewing clients.
- How advocacy is conducted in court hearings.
You will be volunteering at either the PSU in the Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ) or in the Central Family Court (CFC).
What is expected of students while volunteering with The Personal Support Unit?
Am I eligible?
As a volunteer, you will be asked to commit to volunteering for a minimum of 20 days over the course of an academic year (roughly two days per calendar month from 9:30 am to 16:30 pm).
You will be interacting directly with clients and gain experience of conducting client interviews, further your understanding of court procedures and develop skills that will be beneficial in your future law careers.
Before becoming a fully-fledged volunteer, you will need to undergo five days of shadowing a more experienced PSU volunteer (two days at the CFC and three days at the RCJ).
How can I apply?
PSU are primarily looking for volunteers who are postgraduate students and/or 3rd year/final year undergraduates due to the sensitive nature of their clients' issues. However, they will also consider selecting applicants who are 2nd year undergraduates and can demonstrate the right level of maturity for the role.
Please note we require you to provide us with personal information to enable us to assess your eligibility for the volunteering programme. All applications received will be forwarded onto The Personal Support Unit.
We will only use your personal information for the purposes of assessing your suitability for the course. We will delete your information within 28 days of notifying you of whether you have been successful in the first round of selection or not.
Below is the timetable for the application process:
- Opening Date for Applications: Friday 14 September 2018
- Closing Date for Applications: Friday 28 September 2018
- Date for Interviews: Thursday 11 October and Friday 12 October 2018
- PSU Induction Day, Part 1: Wednesday 17 October 2018, 13:00 pm to 17:30 pm
Interviews will take place at PSU's offices in either the RCJ or CFC.
The PSU Induction Day will take place at The Dickson Poon School of Law.
If you are interested in applying to become a PSU volunteer, please first read the PSU Information Pack to understand the nature of the role.
Then download and complete the PSU Application Form. All completed forms should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and addressed to Deborah Acquaah, King’s Legal Clinic Coordinator.