Exeter Law School
A tall pull up display sign reads Community Law Clinic. Student led service promoting access to justice. Contact us: a2jclinic@exeter.ac.uk, immigrationclinic@exeter.ac.uk. Behind is the entrance to a room with one door open. Above the door are the words Rougemont Room.

Students provide free legal advice to people in the south west

Posted by The Law School

31 January 2024

There’s an excellent opportunity at Exeter Law School for students to gain real legal experience through the Access to Justice module.

Under supervision from solicitors and barristers from the Clinic team and the wider the legal community, students provide free legal advice to members of the public across the Access to Justice Clinic and Immigration Clinic. 

Since the Clinic began in 2017 different cohorts of students have been advising people across the south west with a variety of their legal problems. At each step of the way they are supported by staff, alumni and people from local legal firms. As well as the Clinic being extremely valuable to the local community there are many benefits for students who take this module.

The Access to Justice Clinic is different to other modules because it gives you a practical insight on what it is like to deal with legal work. It’s a great experience to help you determine if you would like to pursue a legal career. Thus, I would recommend to second year students.

To know that I have tried my best and helped someone makes me feel great about my work effort.

Bleona, 3rd year Law Student

As well as the practical skills students gain, the experience of working with clients helps students prepare for work interviews and pupillage applications. Here are Keegan’s thoughts:

I was thrilled at this opportunity because the clinic allowed me to develop practical legal skills; such as client interviewing. To date, the majority of my course work in the Grad LLB program allowed me to develop my academic skills; such as legal research, essay writing, legal advice, etc.

However, the Justice Clinic is the only course which allows me to take the academic knowledge I have gained and apply it to a real-world situation. I have found this extremely beneficial and a significant stepping-stone to prepare us for our future careers as lawyers. Additionally, an enticing part of the Justice Clinic is that the work you do with the clinic counts towards your work experience on your CV. This is a great opportunity for students to gain work experience, which would stand out on a CV.

Keegan, 3rd year Grad LLB

The experience of providing legal advice and helping people provides students with an understanding of what it is really like to work in a legal profession. Here are 3rd year William’s thoughts on his experience:

I have been supervised by some of the best solicitors in the southwest and have had hands on experience on real life cases where I am currently making a difference. What makes the clinic valuable to me is the interaction with real clients and the emphasis on legal research from any pathway be it immigration, housing or employment.

I have had the privilege in working on an immigration case and have learned a-lot about the statutes involved in it and how the immigration system works in this country. Choosing access to legal clinic as a module has been very interesting to me as it has provided me the opportunity to harness my research and drafting skills. I have been able to gain value experience in client interviewing which has also enhanced my critical thinking and problem solving skills.

William, 3rd year Grad LLB

Find out how to get involved and read more about the work of the Clinic on our Clinic pages here.

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