STUDENTS AND STAFF ATTEND ANNUAL SCOTTISH UNIVERSITIES LAW CLINIC NETWORK CONFERENCE

Student advisors, together with the Director and Director of the Clinical LLB, from the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic recently attended the annual Student Universities Law Clinic Networking Conference (SULCN) on 7 June 2019.

(President of the Law Society of Scotland, John Mulholland delivering a speech at SULCN 2019)

The event, hosted this year by Edinburgh Napier Law Clinic, was established in 2012 with the aim of encouraging Law Clinics across Scotland to share ideas and work together to improve access to justice.

The event opened with a speech from John Mulholland, the recently appointed President of the Law Society of Scotland, following which each clinic gave a brief update on recent developments and operational changes. This opened up discussion on the numerous challenges involved in running a Law Clinic, including access to funding and the challenges faced by students who combine pro bono work with their academic studies.

In the afternoon, attendees enjoyed workshops on interview skills delivered by Barry Nichol and Alun Thomas of Anderson Strathearn; and a workshop on mediation given by Robin Burley and Lindsay Burley of Mediation Scotland.

The conference also saw the current Chair of SULCN, Malcolm Combe of Aberdeen University, hand the reins to Rebecca Samaras of the University of Edinburgh who will now take on the role of Chair.

The day concluded with an inspiring speech by John Sturrock QC who highlighted the opportunities presented by mediation as a dispute resolution method.

Eilidh Campbell, one of the student representatives attending the conference on behalf of the Strathclyde Law Clinic reflected on the event stating:

“The conference was a fantastic learning experience for all students in attendance, as we were provided with a platform to actively engage with contributors from across the Scottish access to justice community. I found the event highly motivating and look forward to using this motivation to assist the Strathclyde Law Clinic over the summer.”

Law Clinic Runner Up at LawWorks and Attorney General Awards 2019

The University of Strathclyde Law Clinic was delighted to receive the runner-up position and was awarded Highly Commended in the ‘Best LegalTech Contribution’ category.

(From left to right, Student Director Kirstie Webb, Director Kate Laverty and Communications Officer Jordan Hamlett)

On Wednesday 1 May 2019, Law Clinic Director Kate Laverty, Student Director Kirstie Webb and Communications Officer Jordan Hamlett travelled to London for the LawWorks and Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards 2019. The Law Clinic had been shortlisted in two categories: Best contribution by a team of students and Best LegalTech contribution respectively.

The Awards, run by LawWorks with the support of the Attorney General, the Rt Hon Geoffrey Cox QC MP, recognise and celebrate the outstanding pro bono work undertaken by law schools and law students across the UK.

The event was held at the House of Commons member’s dining room, opening with a speech from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox which focused on the importance of pro bono work, specifically the contribution made by students.

Kirstie Webb reflected on the experience saying:

“It was a privilege to represent the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic at this year’s awards ceremony. To be in the presence of so many Law Clinic’s and organisations providing access to justice throughout the UK was truly inspiring and it was a heartening experience to hear so many success stories.”

Scottish Ministerial visit to the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre (SWRC) to announce expansion


(From left to right: [1st person], Katy Mathieson,Sarah Crawford, Ash Denford, Kate Laverty and Jen Ang)

The Scottish Women Rights Centre (SWRC); a collaboration between the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic, JustRight Scotland and Rape Crisis Scotland has welcomed the Scottish Minister for Community Safety and Affairs, Ash Denham to the offices of JustRight Scotland and their new helpline premises.

The Scottish Government has announced the expansion of the SWRC through funding by The Scottish Legal Aid Board and the Justice Fund. This expansion will allow the SWRC to increase their capacity to provide legal and advocacy support to women who have been affected by gender-based violence. This expansion has allowed for an increase of staff and two legal surgeries to be established in Dundee and Inverness later this year.

(From left to right: Sarah Crawford [SWRC Lead Solicitor] and Ash Denham [Scottish Minister for Community Safety and Affairs])

The Director of the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic, Kate Laverty commented on the expansion stating: 

“The University of Strathclyde Law Clinic is very excited about the expansion of the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre. Through their involvement with the Centre, our volunteer law students have gained invaluable experience and developed specialised legal skills and knowledge about the experiences of women who have been affected by gender-based violence and are trying to navigate the legal system.

“Exposure to these issues at this stage in their legal careers will mean they have a much improved awareness of the difficulties faced by women which will inform their practice in future years.”

Law Clinic Executive Committee 2019/20

The recruitment of the Law Clinic’s 2019-2020 Executive Committee has now concluded. The Executive Committee will shape the direction for the Clinic for the year ahead and will begin in their roles on 1st June 2019.

With a vast number of high quality applicants for the different Committee positions, the competition was tough. Applications were received from students of all years, and a process of interviewing made the range and depth of experience that students continue to bring to the Clinic very clear.

Students are a key component behind all the work carried out by the Clinic. It is their hard work, ideas and dedication that drives the clinic forward, with the Executive Committee operating at the heart of this.

Commenting on the new Committee, Law Clinic Student Director James Anderson said:

“The new Executive Committee will succeed an extremely diligent and successful team and will look to build upon their success.

I am confident that the Clinic is going to benefit from the wealth of experience and new ideas that this committee will bring. I believe I speak on behalf of all students within the executive committee when I say that we can’t wait to get started working together to drive the clinic forward in the year ahead.”

The new Executive Committee is made up of the following people:

  • Student Directors: James Anderson and Kirstie Webb
  • Funding Officer: TBC
  • Communications Officer: Alanna Rooney
  • Training Officer: Anthony Pace
  • IAC Coordinator: Rebecca Farquhar
  • Online Project Manager: Cameron Turner
  • CCU Coordinator: Denice Chalmers
  • Street Law Coordinator: Gabriella Poli
  • Prisons Project Manager: Emelia Connor
  • Welfare Project Manager: Robert Dorrian
  • The Asylum Project Co-Coordinators: Kuda Chinyani (Casework) and James Burns (PLE)
  • SWRC Coordinator: Clare Green
  • Firm Coordinator (Firm A): Eilidh Campbell
  • Firm Coordinator (Firm B): Rebecca Dyer
  • Firm Coordinator (Firm C): Jordan Hamlett
  • Firm Coordinator (Firm D): Monalisa Swira
  • Firm Coordinator (Firm E): Karen Yuill
  • Firm Coordinator (Firm F): Scott MacDonald
  • Firm Coordinator (Firm G): Jordan Bird
  • Firm Coordinator (Firm H): Ben Dickson

Scottish Women’s Rights Centre Legal Update

From 1 April 2019, a new Domestic Abuse law has come into force in Scotland. 

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This law is a welcome change because it recognises the multiple ways in which people are affected by domestic abuse. It also expands the definition of what domestic abuse is in criminal law in Scotland and how the police and courts investigate and prosecute this crime.

To coincide with the coming into force of the new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act, the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre (SWRC) has created a factsheet detailing some of the main changes to the law: https://www.scottishwomensrightscentre.org.uk/news/news/7-things-to-know-about-scotlands-new-domestic-abuse-law/

Strathclyde Law Clinic shortlisted for LawWorks and Attorney General Student Awards 2019

We are delighted to announce that The University of Strathclyde Law Clinic’s Executive Committee and Online Project have been shortlisted as finalists in the categories: Best contribution by a team of students and Best LegalTech contribution respectively, for the LawWorks and Attorney General Student Awards 2019.

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The Awards, run by LawWorks with the support of the Attorney General, The Rt Hon Geoffrey Cox QC MP, recognise and celebrate the outstanding pro bono work undertaken by law schools and law students across the UK.

The Awards ceremony is being held at the Members Dining Room, House of Commons on Wednesday 1st May. The ceremony will be hosted by His Honour Sir Robin Knowles CBE, and the Attorney General will be presenting the awards to the winners.

Follow Strathclyde Law Clinic on social media by clicking the following links to keep up to date with all future news and updates:

 

New College Lanarkshire Students Inspired by Former Student at the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic

Legal Studies students from the Motherwell Campus recently visited Strathclyde University Law Clinic to get a taster of what could be in store for them upon completion of their course.

The Law Clinic, which is run by law student volunteers, provides free legal assistance to people who are unable to get help by any other means. Former NCL Law student, Karen Yuill, is a co-ordinator at the Clinic and in her third year of a law degree at the university. 

Karen met with the group to discuss her journey from college to university and to give them an insight into the work that is carried out by the Clinic. 

The visit was organised by class lecturer, Ciaran O’Neill, who said: “This was a truly fabulous opportunity for our Law students to see, first hand, the wonderful pro bono work that the Law Clinic carry out.

“This kind of opportunity gives our students an excellent insight into how theory is put into practice and the sort of opportunities that await them in the next stage of their educational journey.

“I am extremely grateful to Karen and her team for a very informative and interesting morning.”

For more information about law courses available at New College Lanarkshire, visit: https://www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/courses/law

For more information about Strathclyde University Law Clinic, visit: https://www.lawclinic.org.uk/ 

The Scottish Women’s Rights Centre shortlisted for “Making a Difference” award category for the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2019

The Scottish Women’s Rights Centre (SWRC); a collaboration between the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic, Rape Crisis Scotland and JustRight Scotland was recently shortlisted for the “Making a Difference” award category for the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2019.

(From left to right: Sarah Crawford and Kate Laverty)

The Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards recognise and award academic and business partnerships that have made a positive impact within Scotland and other countries by leading the way in furthering economic growth, societal improvements and environmental advances.

The winners were announced at the awards evening on 21 February 2019, Director of the Strathclyde Law Clinic, Kate Laverty and the SWRC Lead Solicitor, Sarah Crawford, attended the awards evening on behalf of the SWRC.

The Law Clinic would like to congratulate all winners and partnerships that were shortlisted for the awards. A huge congratulations goes to Scene Connect Ltd, Edinburgh, and Heriot-Watt University’s School of Energy, Geoscience Infrastructure and Society and Institute for Infrastructure and Environment for winning the “Making a difference” Award.

 

 

The Strathclyde Law Clinic’s Immigration Unit delivers Forum Theatre Sessions at Glasgow Caledonian University

In the run up to Christmas 2018, the Law Clinic’s Immigration Unit (IU) was invited to deliver a forum theatre session on asylum interviews to a group of third year social work students at Glasgow Caledonian University.

 

The IU ran two back-to-back sessions, with each session being delivered to an audience of 25 participants.

The session starts with a fictionalised asylum interview based on real law clinic cases, followed by an examination and deconstruction of the interview through audience participation. 

These interactive sessions aim to highlight the challenges faced by destitute asylum seekers when progressing their cases, and in particular, the credibility issues that hound their cases relentlessly.

The sessions were very well received. The audience quickly got into the spirit of forum theatre by raising their hands and stopping the interview when they saw an issue or problem. The braver amongst them got the chance to ‘jump in’ and re-enact the scene as they thought it ideally should have been acted out.