Law students take employment and family advice into the community

Law students from Plymouth University will be offering members of the local community advice on legal issues as part of a new project.

The pilot scheme between Plymouth Law School and Plymouth City Council, officially launched on Wednesday 17 February, will see second and third-year students being based for around six hours a week at the Council’s First Stop Shop in New George Street.

They will offer advice on employment law for individuals and a health check for businesses and charities, and provide initial information and guidance in some areas of family law.

The students will work in pairs with the back-up support and advice of the professional legal sector, including staff in the University’s Plymouth Law Clinic.

Rosie Brennan, Director of the Plymouth Law Clinic, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with Plymouth City Council and to take the work of the law clinic into the community. Our students will gain invaluable experience and, under supervision, can give information and advice on some important local legal issues. It will be a great addition to their CVs and further emphasises our commitment to enhancing employability as well as providing a first class education.”

The drop-in sessions, which will be by appointment only, will complement the existing work of the clinic based in Portland Villas on the main University campus.

The free student-led advice service already works closely with local and national organisations, including the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, the Red Cross, and a number of local legal practices.

It also runs an existing employment advice service, the South West Employment Rights Centre, and a Family Law Clinic, offering assistance and information about divorce proceedings and the family courts system.

The first weekly employment law advice service at the First Stop Shop in New George Street starts on Monday 22 February, between 1pm and 4pm. Family law assistance starts on Wednesday 24 February, between 2pm and 5pm.

Councillor Jon Taylor, Cabinet Member for Transformation and Customer Services, said:

“This is an excellent opportunity to bring legal advice into the First Stop shop to provide a greater range of services to our customers. It’s also going to provide students with real world hands-on experience of dealing with clients, that will help them make a real difference in the city.”

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