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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Queen Mary’s qLegal programme celebrates unprecedented growth in 2020

qLegal, Queen Mary’s pro bono commercial law clinic, has published its annual report which shows that it has almost doubled student numbers and welcomed several new external partners in 2020.

Legal textbooks on a desk

Based at Queen Mary’s Centre for Commercial Law Studies, the team at qLegal work across a range of complex issues including intellectual property matters relating to patents, copyright and trademarks as well as business structures, data protection compliance and non-disclosure agreements.

qLegal also undertakes outreach work where postgraduate law students visit local schools to teach the legal elements of developing a business idea.

Key successes in 2019/20

The qLegal annual report showcases some key successes of the qLegal team over the past year. Highlights include a 95 per cent increase in students on a qLegal programme, 13 new toolkits for the start-up community and agreements with 10 new external partners. Earlier this year qLegal supported the establishment of a free legal advice centre in Kenya in collaboration with Strathmore University.

The number of students joining qLegal nearly doubled from 74 last year up to 144 this year. 40 per cent of students who joined Queen Mary’s Centre for Commercial Law Studies in September 2020 cited qLegal as the reason for applying. qLegal also set up an alumni network with many former Queen Mary students going on to join legal firms whilst several others set up their own companies.

A year of growth

Professor Ian Walden, Director of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies said: "It’s great to read the feedback from clients, external partners and students in the qLegal Annual Report. Students really appreciate the opportunity to learn by doing - supporting real clients who could not otherwise afford legal advice - while working alongside professionals from leading City firms.

"qLegal’s clinical legal education programmes develop students’ skills, increase their networks and stand out on their CVs. I was delighted to discover that 40 per cent of our new crop of student advisors cited qLegal as the reason they chose to study at CCLS."

Queen Mary’s Centre for Commercial Law Studies was established in 1980 by Professor Roy Goode to create an environment where practising commercial lawyers and those from academic backgrounds could meet and exchange ideas. Over the past 40 years CCLS has become a world leader in commercial law research and teaching.

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