The clinic was officially launched on Wednesday 9 November.
The Northampton-based clinic, which has been operating since September, provides clients with access to free legal advice from legal experts at national consumer legal services provider Access Legal, from Shoosmiths, on issues including employment, landlord and tenant, and consumer. Access Legal aims to provide a quality assured legal advice service in support of CAB’s own services.
Students from The University of Northampton’s Law School provided essential support for the clinic’s launch, carrying out research and contributing to interviews.
More than 30 attendees came together at the launch, including the pro bono clinic’s other project partner LawWorks.
Access Legal partner Paul Morrison, who helped support the project, said:
We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to be involved with such an excellent cause.
The opportunity to work alongside well respected and dedicated groups such as the CAB, The University of Northampton’s Law School, and LawWorks has been fantastic; it’s given us the chance to use our professional knowledge and expertise for the benefit of those in the community who find it hard to otherwise access legal advice.
Chief executive of Northampton and District CAB Martin Lord said:
This is a significant development for us.
It ushers in what we hope will be a new era of cooperation with the legal community.
There’s no doubt that pro bono support of this sort is an untapped resource and, given the unprecedented demand for our services, we’re really glad to be working with such important and capable partners. It also offers a further outlet for the volunteering commitment of Law students from the University who already play an important role in the bureau.
Both The University and Access Legal enjoy good local and national reputations and we are very thankful to LawWorks for bringing the partnership together and helping us develop what we believe will be an important template for future services.
Margaret Roberts, Senior Lecturer, Law, School of Social Sciences, The University of Northampton, added:
We are delighted to be part of this initiative. As well as being of positive benefit to the local community, this initiative enhances the learning experience of our students by enabling them to understand the practical application of their knowledge and skills
Alasdair Stewart, Clinics project manager at LawWorks concluded:
LawWorks is incredibly pleased to support the launch of this new pro bono clinic. It joins more than 100
other clinics across England and is the perfect example of a great partnership between a law firm, law school and advice agency to deliver a much-needed community service.
LawWorks is the operating name of the Solicitors Pro Bono Group, an independent charity which works with solicitors to provide pro bono legal advice to individuals and community groups in need.