The Student Law Office has been operating at Northumbria University for over 15 years. In the clinic, students (under the supervision of qualified solicitors, barristers and caseworkers) offer a full legal service to members of the public. The clinic is a key part of our four year M Law degree course which integrates the professional skills of the Legal Practice Course into a Masters level degree. All students from year four of that degree, plus a number of students on the LPC and BPTC, work in the Student Law Office. They take on real cases - conducting interviews, researching, advising, drafting and, in suitable cases, providing representation. Whilst their work is closely supervised, all client contract is through the students.
By way of preparation, students take part in a Student Law Office program in year three, where they practice interviewing and research and develop an awareness of the office systems and their own professional responsibilities.
The Student Law Office covers an extensive range of legal areas including civil litigation (including Criminal Injuries Compensation Awards appeals), crime and criminal appeals, employment, housing, welfare benefits, family, business and commercial. This year sees the development of exciting new partnerships and projects, with a new Environmental Law Project - a free environmental and planning law service - and the launch of LawWorks North East, a pro bono initiative which will expand the availability of pro bono advice to groups who may otherwise struggle to access this.
The Student Law Office has recently won:
Best Contribution by a Law School at the Attorney General Student and Law School Pro Bono Awards 2008.
Winner of the Year at the National Training Awards 2010.
Excellence in Community Investment at the Law Society Excellence Awards 2011.