The University of Birmingham’s Law School has joined forces with the Birmingham office of national law firm Mills & Reeve to provide free legal advice to those unable to pay for it.

This pro bono initiative, which was launched at the University of Birmingham on Thursday 25th February, is a first for the Birmingham office of Mills & Reeve, as well as for the University’s Law School. In this new scheme qualified solicitors will work alongside law students to deliver a free service to the community.

Members of the public can contact the legal advice team via the hotline, 0121 414 6315. In all suitable cases they will then be given an appointment to meet at the law clinic at the University, where they will be interviewed by law students, supervised by lawyers from Mills & Reeve. A letter of advice will then be issued.

The scheme, called Birmingham FLAG (Free Legal Advice Group), will initially run as a three-month pilot and will be promoted by the students through community centres, a leaflet drop and poster campaign. Clinics will be held from 5pm–7pm on alternate Thursdays at the University.

Guy Hinchley, managing partner at Mills & Reeve, comments, ‘This pro bono activity will supplement Mills & Reeve’s already established corporate social responsibility programme in the Birmingham office. As well as providing a community service, it will be good for the personal development of our volunteers, and great hands-on experience for the students.’

Bharat Malkani, a lecturer in the Law School and the Clinic Director at the University of Birmingham, added, ‘From the students’ point of view the opportunity to gain practical legal experience by helping people is invaluable, and the current student volunteers are incredibly bright, articulate and enthusiastic. The Free Legal Advice Group also reaffirms the University’s commitment to the local community.’

For further information contact:

Kate Chapple, Press Officer, University of Birmingham

Tel 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve is a top 50 national law firm with 90 partners and a total staff of over 830, operating from offices in Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, London, Manchester and Norwich.

Mills & Reeve is a full service firm with practice specialisms including corporate and commercial, banking and finance, technology, insurance, real estate, healthcare, local authorities, education and private client.

Clients include commercial organisations – from PLCs to start-ups – high net worth individuals and landowners, more than 70 universities and colleges, over 100 healthcare trusts and NHS bodies, and more than 65 local government institutions.