12 November 2014
Law students in the Senior Status Society at Queen Mary University of London are to benefit from a new partnership with the Legal Advice Centre (University House). The partnership will allow a number of Senior Status Law students to take up volunteer positions at the centre and gain hands-on experience with a number of clients and cases. Students will also have the chance to attend training sessions with the goal of representing clients of the centre at their appeal hearings. Students have already been offered training on welfare benefits and Special Educational Needs tribunals at the London offices of Clifford Chance and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.
The Senior Status Society supports students studying the Senior Status LLB, a two year programme for students with a degree in another programme, at Queen Mary. As well as providing volunteer opportunities at the Legal Advice Centre (University House), the society arranges open days at leading law firms in London and aims to provide a cohesive community of senior status students through a number of social events.
The Legal Advice Centre (University House) was first established in 1941 and provides independent legal advice to members of the Tower Hamlets area.
Carolyn Minaudo is President of the Senior Status Society and has volunteered at the centre since January 2014. Carolyn said:
"I began by shadowing solicitors, but quickly became involved in a lot of hands on work- calling job centers and tribunals, typing case notes, representing a client at their appeal tribunal, and now I have begun advising on my own!"
The Senior Status Society was able to set up the partnership through Carolyn's connection with the Centre.
Carolyn added: "The Director of the Centre, Eddie Coppinger, came to our Senior Status Welcome Dinner a few weeks ago and met with our students there. Many of them went on to receive volunteer positions at the centre, either during their drop in advice sessions or throughout the day where they have scheduled appointments with clients. The centre is very hands on and you are given a lot of responsibility right away."
Queen Mary University of London's own Legal Advice Centre (LAC) also provides a free, accessible, client centred advice service to the public. Students work alongside solicitors from the City to advise clients on a range of issues.