University of Strathclyde Law Clinic: Carer’s Group Blog Post

Law Clinic Student Advisor, Laura Nicol, writes about her experience providing Strathclyde Carer’s Group with two information sessions on Power of Attorneys and Guardianship Orders alongside fellow Student Advisor, Darya Burton.

(Law Clinic Student Advisors, Laura Nicol and Darya Burton)

Over the past two weeks, Darya Burton and I were given the chance to provide Strathclyde Carer’s Group with two information sessions on Power of Attorneys (POAs) and Guardianship Orders (GOs). The group had received similar information sessions in the past from previous clinic members and they were keen for further sessions as long-standing members of the Carer’s Group often spoke of how good and useful it had been.

Darya had a little experience with the subject matter from her working in a law firm and I had basic knowledge. However, we worked together to produce fresh PowerPoint slideshows by utilising previous PowerPoints we had in our database, extensive research and consulting supervisors. These two PowerPoints broke down the essential information in regard to POAs and GOs.

We decided to split the sessions into two, as the subjects are already easily confused and discussed as if they’re interchangeable which they aren’t. We thought this would also help separate the two in the listeners minds as there was also a lot of information in each presentation and we thought it a bit much to absorb all at once.

For those who are unaware of the difference between POA and GO, POA can only be granted by someone who has capacity, and only usually ‘kicks in’ once they have lost capacity (often described as an ‘insurance policy’). Whereas a GO is the process you have to go through to be able to make a decision on another person’s behalf if they have either already lost capacity, or never had capacity as an adult. Both POA and GO are governed by the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 and there is also a useful guide to the act which can be found here if anyone is looking for further information:

The presentations were received very well and brought up some very interesting and important conversations within the group. We thank the group for having us and we are glad they enjoyed it and found it useful. Their feedback was that:

“Both Laura and Darya were excellent, they presented very well with clear slides and information and were more than able to answer any questions which were sent their way. All in all a really great couple of sessions which all attendees found useful and informative”.

For other clinic members who find themselves doing a presentation in the future here are useful pointers;

  • Use it as a learning experience – researching things you don’t know about will only help your research skills and knowledge.
  • Keep the slides simple – remember that who you are presenting to may know little about the law and that is probably why you are doing a presentation for them.
  • Avoid using green, pink or red fonts or backgrounds – these colours in particular often make it harder for people with dyslexia to read and view the information.
  • Use clinic resources where possible – there is always usually something on the database which will be helpful!

Laura Nicol, Student Advisor at the University of Strathclyde Law Clinic.