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Law students gain valuable work experience at Lambeth County Court

22 November 2013

The LSBU Legal Advice Clinic recently launched a new project, which sees students assisting members of the public with their enquiries about Court forms, fees and processes at Lambeth County Court.

As part of the project - which launched in September - students from the second-year LLB Law 'Working in the Law' module have been attending the Court on Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.

The students are about to complete their 8 weeks of duty on the rota, having become the very friendly faces of Lambeth County Court on their duty days. This is because members of the public approach them with all kinds of enquiries, and the students give them plenty of time to explain what help they need. 

Often enquiries have nothing to do with Court forms or fees, but  will be about which court room the person has to go to, where do they wait, or who do they report to.  There are six courts in Lambeth County Court, and the Judges hear cases on housing repossession, debt, personal injury and road traffic accidents, consumer claims and family cases. The family cases are private, but the other cases are such that usually the students can observe. 

The students have time to see all the activities of the Court, and not only do they gain experience in  helping members of the public, they also sit in the Court to watch cases, and afterwards discuss them with the Judge.

Each team has a Team leader whose responsibilities include ensuring that there are sufficient materials and forms for the public, and liaising with the Court staff. The students works in pairs, two on Reception, and two in each of the interview rooms. They are supervised by Paul Wynell-Sutherland and Sara Chandler, both Law academics at LSBU.

It is interesting and rewarding work, giving students plenty of varied experience. Two new teams will be starting on 20 November to go through to end of February. There will be opportunities for two new teams to start in March 2014.

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