King’s Legal Clinic has just booked in its 50th client for free legal advice. With student advisors working in teams of four and spending up to 40 hours on each case this amounts to more than a thousand hours of free legal work in its first six months of operation.
Based in King's Strand Campus the clinic offers free legal advice on everything from housing to setting up your own company.
‘The range of cases and clients has been amazing. We get requests for help from staff and students at King’s but also from members of the public from across London.
This week alone we had a client who needed advice on their former partner’s right to contact with their child and another who believes they are the victim of disability discrimination at work. Another client has been asked to be the trustee of a new charity while we had a request from an IT student who wanted advice on how to protect his new app’, said Stephen Levett King’s Legal Clinic's Director.
In a report published in November 2017 the Law Society claimed that getting early advice meant disputes were solved more quickly. The report by the Law Society Research Unit with IPSOS-MORI said
On average, one in four people who receive early professional legal advice had resolved their problem within three to four months. For those who did not receive early legal advice, it was not until nine months after the issue had first occurred that one in four had resolved their issue.
Changes to the Legal Aid system in 2012 lead to a decrease in the availability of legal aid in many areas such as Family and Employment law. Critics have claimed that as a result of these changes there are now legal aid deserts in some areas of the country. (Source Law Soc).
Steve Levett said, ‘The need for legal help is clearly very high and lots of people - including people who are in relatively well-paid jobs - simply can't afford to get even the most basic advice. King’s Legal Clinic is one part of the patchwork of free legal service providers including Citizen's Advice Bureaus and Law Centre which are trying to plug the gap.’
About King’s Legal Clinic
King’s Legal Clinic, is a free service offering legal advice to the public from law students at King’s College London. Under the supervision of a qualified lawyer, students working at the clinic interview clients, analyse their problem, research the issues and send them a written letter of advice. Because the students are being supervised throughout by a qualified lawyer, clients can be assured that the advice they receive will be to the same standard as if they had paid for that advice.
Visit the King’s Legal Clinic webpages for more information.