Manchester School of Law Legal Advice Centre relies heavily on volunteer practising solicitors and barristers to supervise students who volunteer at the clinic.
The process is student-led so that two students interview the client with the supervisor sitting in (or attending via skype). The students then research the law and draft an advice letter, which the supervisor checks by e-mail, and provides feedback as necessary to the students. The final advice letter is then approved by the supervisor and the Legal Advice Centre Solicitor/Manager. Supervision can be carried out by Trainee Solicitors provided their work is supervised and approved by a Principal.
Person specification - what type of volunteers is the clinic looking for?
Any lawyer with PQE in the clinics practice areas. The clinic is particularly keen to hear from potential volunteers who would be able to supervise in the areas of wills & probate, family law, and would also welcome enquiries from those who specialise in their other core practice areas which are as follows:
- Employment law
- Consumer and contract law
- Mental incapacity
- Landlord and tenant
- Advice to small businesses
The Legal Advice Centre is also looking at the possibility of running advice clinics from community settings across Manchester, to reach out to different client groups. This could involve lawyers attending in person or by Skype, and so the LAC would be interested in hearing from volunteers willing to do this type of pro bono work.
What will the time commitment be?
Over the different stages of each case that comes to the clinics, that is approved for an appointment, the supervising lawyer input will be up to approximately four hours.
Each day the clinic will run two appointments and while most lawyers will do back to back appointments this is entirely up to each individual. While the clinic tends to have appointments at 12pm and 1pm, the clinics is happy to move these to other points in the working day that are convenient for the volunteer lawyers.
What will volunteers get out of this?
Trainees/Pupils are allowed to supervise student led appointments but we will require email confirmation from their principal/pupil supervisor that the student's letter of advice is correct.
What email address should enquiries and applications be sent to?
Application process - is there any information you would like applicants to provide?
Please provide the following information:
- Name of firm/Chambers
- Year of admission/call
- Whether fully qualified, or a trainee/pupil
- If a trainee/pupil the contact details of their principal