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LSBU students become the face of Lambeth County Court

An LSBU Legal Advice Clinic initiative has seen LLB (Hons) Law students becoming the public face of Lambeth County Court in recent months

Groups of 14 students on the second year module 'Working in the Law' have been working in two teams to man a legal advice desk at the court, working on Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings. They are there to assist the public with all kinds of enquiries, helping with Court forms and fees as well as more general help, including which court people should go to, where they should wait, and who they should report to.

Hands-on experience

Each pair of teams completes eight weeks on the rota before being replaced by a new group. The hands-on experience of seeing a court at work in such close quarters gives our students a real insight into working in the law, as well as providing valuable assistance to the public.

Observing cases

Lambeth County Court is home to six courtrooms which hear cases on housing repossession, debt, personal injury and road traffic accidents, consumer claims, and family cases. The family cases are private, but the students are able to observe cases in all of the other fields, and are able to discuss them afterwards with the judge.

Liaising with court staff

The teams are supervised by Paul Wynell-Sutherland and Sara Chandler. Each has a Team Leader whose responsibilities include making sure there are sufficient materials and forms for the public, and liaising with the Court staff. The rest of the team work in pairs, with two on reception and two in each interview room.

Legal Advice Clinic

The Legal Advice Clinic at LSBU first opened its doors in September 2011, with the aim of making free legal advice available to the community. It is staffed by trained student volunteers, who work under the supervision of practicing solicitors and helps students on our LLB courses to put their learning into practice, understanding the real-life legal issues that are often faced by individuals within the community.