Law students help those without legal representation

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 08:47:00 GMT

Following cuts to civil legal aid provision, the number of individuals without legal representation, known as 'litigants in person', has risen drastically. Recognising this and the daunting and stressful process of having to attend court alone, the University backed Legal Advice Clinic (LAC) operates a McKenzie Friend Scheme whereby students provide moral support for litigants in person through taking notes, helping with case papers and quietly giving advice on the conduct of the case. This scheme benefits both the clients and the court. For the students it offers valuable experience in helping clients, as they work alongside legal professionals from the court. Law student Sumaiyah describes how; “The McKenzie friend training helped me to put my experience into context. It also allowed me to learn new techniques in order to be able to help a client as much as I possibly could and build on that experience for the future”.

The support of the court has been great and the local District Judge recently took time out of his very busy schedule to provide McKenzie Friend training to our students, which was certainly appreciated by law student Harvey: "I gained valuable insight learning about the procedure of the McKenzie Friend Scheme, It's a terrific scheme that provides moral support to those most in need".

Find out more about the LAC here

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