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Legal Advice Centre

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you charge for the advice you give?

The service offered by the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre is completely free. We do not charge for the advice we give. If you would like to make a donation following your advice there is a donations button. You are under no obligation to make any type of donation, our service is completely free.

How do you decide if you can help with my issue?

We look at a number of factors to decide if we can take a case on. Unfortunately we are unable to take on all enquiries as client cases. When considering an enquiry we will consider some or all of the following factors;

  • the urgency of the issues / case,
  • the complexity of the issues / case,
  • the simplicity of the issues / case,
  • the educational value for a Student Adviser, and / or
  • the income of the client / suitability for pro bono legal advice.

We will also consider our mission statement.

If we cannot help, we will always try to refer you to an alternative legal service provider who may be able to assist. Our Centre staff assess all requests to see if it is something that we can deal with. If further information is required, in order for us to assess whether your case is suitable or not, we will get in touch by telephone or email.

When are you unable to help?

We cannot offer appointments to everyone who contacts us. Nor can we provide advice on all legal issues. As a student law clinic we are limited in scope and capacity.

Some examples of areas we cannot help with include: debt, pensions, tax, medical negligence, or assistance buying a property.

When will I know if you can help me?

We will let you know if we can assist you as soon as possible (usually within 3 business days) after receiving your initial enquiry. If we can take your case, we will book you in for an appointment and send you a confirmation e-mail setting out your appointment date and time, directions on how to get to Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre, and a detailed explanation of our service and how we work. If we cannot assist you, then we will try to signpost you to alternative organisation who may be able to help instead.

Can I just drop by the Centre to get some help without an appointment?

Not usually, most of our clinics are by appointment only and do not offer a drop-in service. However, if you need help with completing the social welfare benefits forms for Personal Independence Forms (PIP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA), then we do offer a bi-weekly drop in clinic on a Monday evening. Please see here for our next drop in clinics (can we link this to the Social Welfare Benefits Page of our website).

Can I get advice over the phone or e-mail?

We are not able to offer any advice over the telephone or by email. Instead, you will receive an advice letter approximately 14 days after an appointment with our clinic.

When do your appointments normally take place?

Our 1-2-1 client appointments usually take place on a Monday (Social Welfare Benefits only), Tuesday and Thursday evening. Appointments normally take place from 6 pm onwards. Occasionally we can offer daytime appointments but this is very limited, and subject to the availability of our Student Advisers and the supervising lawyers.

Can you represent me in Court?

We do undertake casework and representation in the Social Security Tribunal. This is part of our Social Welfare Benefits project that we run in collaboration with the charity Z2K. Students are trained as volunteer representatives who interview clients, draft submissions and represent clients at the First Tier Social Security Tribunal. We only offer this service in relation to refusals for social welfare benefits claims.

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