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Law school extends free legal advice to public

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Members of the University of Bradford's Law Clinic discuss a case

'Justice Bradford' wants to hear from you

The University of Bradford’s School of Law is to extend its free legal advice service to enable members of the public to access advice directly in addition to the Citizens’ Advice and Girlington Advice Centre.

The Law Clinic, known as “Justice Bradford” is run by students who are trained to interview and provide advice on a wide range of legal issues. They work under the supervision of qualified legal practitioners.

Clinic Director, Ian Miller, is a practising barrister with over 20 years’ experience and an Assistant Professor in the School of Law; and Tuiya Tembo is a solicitor who qualified over 12 years ago, joining the University as a lecturer in October, having previously worked for DLA Piper UK LLP for six years.

Education through public service

The Law Clinic’s strapline is ‘Delivering education through public service’, which Ian says perfectly encapsulates what the Law Clinic does.

“There is a huge need for this and as seasoned legal practitioners, both Tuiya and I are aware of the legal landscape. What we’re doing here is mutually beneficial, in that our students gain valuable experience in terms of preparing professional cases and we are providing what is often a lifeline for people at a very stressful time in their lives.”

Tuiya says: “In today’s competitive job market, it is the function of universities to produce graduates who are ready for the workplace. Our programme of clinical legal education and law clinic provides our students with a wealth of practical experience, that will be a huge benefit to them whether or not they wish to pursue a career in law.”

Justice Bradford

The clinic currently runs every Wednesday during University term time. Unlike some other agencies, Justice Bradford will not only advise on whether claims can be made but will also look at the merits of a case; if it cannot help, it will ‘signpost’ clients to relevant services.

The areas of law upon which the Clinic offers advice include:-

  •  Family law – all areas
  • Contractual/consumer/general civil law disputes
  • Property/ownership of land/home
  • Wills/probate

The Clinic also aims to ensure that it only offers advice where there is no better or superior organisation who can offer the requisite advice. With this in mind, the Clinic is unable to offer advice in relation to welfare benefits, debt, taxation, immigration, and problems which are criminal or regulatory in nature.

Legal skills

Prof Engobo Emeseh, the head of the School of Law, says: “We are excited to be expanding access to the Law Clinic for the benefit of both our community and the educational needs of our students. Our Law Clinic is the backbone of a unique and developmental programme of clinical legal education which starts with legal skill training in the first year and ends with students working as experienced advisors in their final year.”

Legal aid has been continually cut back over the years with many people finding themselves in a situation in which they are in need of personal legal advice, but the cost is often prohibitive. Whilst there are agencies which provide legal advice, there is still a gap in respect of advice in relation to certain areas of law. Justice Bradford aims to plug these gaps left by offering free legal advice tailored to the needs of the local community.

To get in touch, please contact the clinic via email at justice@bradford.ac.uk. The account will automatically reply to you with information about the services the Clinic can offer and together with information to help clients prepare for the meeting with us.

Additional information

The Law Clinic was formed in 2016 and has been expanding its services over the years. The Clinic currently offers free legal advice to members of staff, students and their immediate families, together with referrals from local organisations such as the Bradford and Airedale CAB and Girlington Advice Centre. As part of its expansion, the Clinic is now extending its service to members of the public who access the service by emailing a dedicated email account.

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