Pro bono services at Birmingham

CEPLER's Pro Bono Group enables students to volunteer in a range of activities that benefit some of the most vulnerable people in the local community.

CEPLER's Linden Thomas leading a Streetlaw Training session, surrounded by a group of Law students

Through a diverse range of projects, student volunteers develop their knowledge of how the law operates in the real world and can improve their legal research, public speaking and client care skills. The Pro Bono Group was established in 2008 and CEPLER's links to the law and legally-related professions have provided scope for expanding the range of projects available to students and the community.

Here are just a few of the projects currently offered:

Birmingham Free Legal Advice Group 

Birmingham FLAG, the largest Pro Bono Group project, offers free legal advice to clients on an appointment-only basis. FLAG provides students with opportunities to help vulnerable members of the local community and to work on real cases covering a range of legal areas.

Students work under the guidance of solicitors and barristers from our partner organisations: No5 Chambers, Mills & Reeve LLP, and Shakespeare Martineau to develop their interviewing, client care, research and drafting skills. FLAG also gives our volunteers an active role in responding to legal aid cuts and helping to resolve pressing legal problems.

Click here to visit the FLAG page

Streetlaw

This was the Pro Bono Group's first initiative and is open to all of our student volunteer members.  Student work in the community, in a variety of settings such as community groups, schools, public sector organisations and agencies, deliver interactive legal education sessions on a wide variety of topics.

Streetlaw presentations have focused on themes including: drugs legislation; parental rights; human rights, such as diversity, religion, disability and mental illness; rights and obligations of tenants and landlords.

Click here to find out more.

Environmental Law Matters (ELM)

In conjunction with the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) this is a sister-project to FLAG, providing a free advice service by appointment to individuals and community groups in the specialised areas of Planning and Environmental Law.

In addition to advice provision, ELM also undertakes research on key areas of environmental impact in collaboration with organisations such as Oxfam or the United Nations.

Personal Support Unit (PSU)

Based in the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre, PSU provides essential emotional and practical support to people going through litigation without legal representation.

Student volunteers contribute through helping indivduals to formulate coherent statement, complete forms and by providing moral support in difficult circumstances. This also gives our volunteers a window into the court process.

 Birmingham Community Law Centre

Students assist solicitors from the local Law Centre as they advise clients on matters of immigration and employment law.  This involves interviewing clients and assisting solicitors with case work as they help some of the most vulnerable people in the region.

Student volunteers are based in the BCLC offices, gaining hands-on experience of practice in a busy advice centre.

Employment Tribunal Litigants in Person Scheme (ELIPS)

Working with the Employment Lawyers Association, through which qualified solicitors and barristers volunteer their time to provide advice and representation to unrepresented individuals struggling with the tribunal process, our students support with initial interviews and administration.

CPD

All Pro Bono Group activities generate CEPLER Professional Development credits. CPD is our employability scheme which recognises and rewards commitment to extra curricular endeavour. 

How to get Involved

Students at Birmingham Law School can get involved in all areas of Pro Bono activity. To find out more about these opportunities please visit the student involvement page.

Further information

Further information about the Birmingham Law School Pro Bono Group is available here.

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