LawWorks Clinics Network Conference 2019

The inaugural LawWorks Clinics Network conference on June 6th 2019, bringing together over 100 clinic coordinators, supervisors and volunteers from different sectors, organisations and specialisms to share good practice, exchange ideas, review the landscape and further develop the pro bono clinic community. The theme for the conference was: "Inspiring, learning and building partnerships."

PDF icon ClinicConferencePack.pdf

PDF icon LawWorks Clinics Network Conference 2019


Morning plenary sessions

Birmingham Law Society President Linden Thomas welcomed everyone and introduced the conference.

After the first workshop sessions, Corey Stoughton, Acting Director of Liberty, delivered an inspirational keynote speech, followed by a presentation from James Sandbach and Milla Gregor on key data trends from clinics.  


Workshops I


SQE update

Presented by: Alan East, Coventry University. This workshop provided an overview of the new route to qualification through the Solicitors Qualifying Examination. There was discussion about the process and qualifying work element, and continued issues of concern.


Managing and supporting volunteers

Presented by: Nathan Fitzpatrick, Bristol Law Centre, Alison Lamb; RCJ Advice & Citizens Advice Islington. This workshop addressed queries relating to insurance, managing volunteers’ expectations, keeping volunteers motivated and the safeguards to consider when looking at risk. 


Giving advice via remote access systems

Presented by: Angela Cahill, BPP University; Francine Ryan, Open University. 

Workshops II


SRA regulatory developments 

Presented by: Richard Pitkethly, LawWorks; Patrick Reeve, Solicitors Regulation Authority. This workshop introduced the main changes being introduced by the SRA's Handbook reforms due to come into effect on November 29th, with particular reference to non-profit advice providers, in house solicitors (including those employed by universities), unreserved/reserved activities, and the general policy context.


Mapping unmet legal need in the community

Presented by: Prof. Richard Owen, Swansea University; Lindsey Poole, Advice Services Alliance. This workshop encouraged us to be open to analysing what cases are coming into clinics versus what ought to be (based on the area) and doing something about it. Using big data and local knowledge clinics can try to ensure they are accessible to all.


Comparing models of clinics

Presented by: Andrew Barton, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP; Alan Russell, London South Bank University. In this workshop the presenters shared their experiences of running two different types of clinics; an appointment based service operated and staffed by volunteers from a law firm, and a drop in service hosted by a university where students provide advice. The presenters discussed the practicalities of running these services, as well as how they train and supervise their volunteers.

Workshops III


Policy voice: using clinics data to achieve change

Presented by: Milla Gregor, Consultant; James Sandbach, LawWorks. Following on from the morning's presentation on key data trends accross the clinics network, this workshop explored in more depth how LawWorks collects and uses clinics data to influence policy, and in particular the client outcomes data from the Better Information Project. 


Developing casework and representation clinics

Presented by: Nathan Fitzpatrick, Bristol Law Centre; Elizabeth Hodgetts, Barrister and ELIPS volunteer


Tech tools for running clinics

Presented by: Nicola Antoniou, University of East London; Liz Hardie, Open University; Eleanor Scarlett, University of East London. This workshop provided examples of the type of technology that clinics might consider using to improve pro bono advice. It considered the CLIO case management system, Intralinks document management, Fast SMS for client reminders, Slack messaging and Trello project management. The workshop covered online enquiry forms and how tech can help with supervision and project management.

Afternoon plenary

The topic of the afternoon plenary was 'Building successful partnerships: with students, the legal profession, and community organisations', the panel brought a wealth of experience from across the pro bono sector with contributions from Judi Lincoln, Norfolk Community Law Service; Sarah Calder, Anglia Ruskin University; Helen Rogers, Allen & Overy and Chili Reid, Advice UK, the session was chaired by Carol Storer, Legal Action Group.

Carol Storer, Legal Action Group

Carol Storer

Judi Lincoln, Norfolk Community Law Service

Judi Lincoln

Sarah Calder, Anglia Ruskin University

Sarah Calder

Helen Rogers, Allen & Overy

Helen Rogers

Chili Reid, Advice UK

Chili Reid