The Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre has had an incredibly successful year, balancing both its social-justice and educational-orientated objectives. All students involved at the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre have demonstrated a strong commitment to social justice. The resilience of the students, despite very challenging circumstances for many, has ensured the delivery of a high-quality service for clients at the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre.
Client appointments, community engagement projects and general administration have all been conducted very differently at the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre this year. Client appointments and the community engagement projects have been very well coordinated via Teams and Zoom. The transition to a virtual environment has overall been a great success and the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre team have worked hard to offer all Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre students the best possible experience virtually. Staff have also held weekly virtual drop-in Q&A sessions to somewhat replicate the in-person learning environment at the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre.
The Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre’s Social Welfare Benefits Project has now won clients £221,448.90 in benefits. This is an outstanding achievement by the team. For the first time this year, the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre has represented four of its own clients in tribunals. The Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre has a 100% success rate so far.
The SPITE (Sharing and Publishing Images to Embarrass) for School’s Project has reached over 750 school students through 15 virtual workshops. Students have been taught about the law on imaged-based sexual abuse.
Through the ‘I AM YOU’ Project, students at the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre have taught primary school students about the Equality Act 2010. This has focused on the importance of diversity and challenging stereotypes. The project reached over 80 school students this year. For the Prisoner Property Project, staff and students have created a toolkit to assist prisoners with their property rights. The toolkit has been sent to over 20 prisons. More information about this fantastic initative.
The Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre has had a record-breaking year for 1-2-1 appointments and advice letters. The clinic has run 369 client appointments with 182 students engaged alongside supervisors from a range of firms, chambers and organisations. Although the 1-2-1 appointments and enquiry line have officially closed this week, the SPITE clinic will continue into the summer period.
The Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre launched the Black Justice Project clinic this year. The project provides free legal advice for members of the Black community on employment discrimination, actions against the police and immigration matters relating to the Windrush scandal. Eight client appointments have been held this year.
Lastly a big thank you to all of our volunteers for all of their hard work and continued dedication to the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre. We look forward to welcoming our students back in September.