Law Clinic Student Director and student advisor Kirstie Webb writes about her experience working from home under Covid-19.
“When life as we know it changed on 23rd March, many of us had to adapt to a different way of living (and working) that we had never previously considered. As most of us adjusted to a world full of zoom meetings and make-shift working from home stations, the Law Clinic has also adapted its service to continue providing legal advice and representation to those who need it most.
“The Coronavirus may have forced us to close our office doors at the University of Strathclyde, however, we have endeavoured to keep it business as usual with our ongoing casework and online service. Our supervising solicitors, administrators and students have been working remotely to ensure that all our client’s legal meets are met. This has included zoom client meetings, even initial client meetings for new clients, and conducting Employment Hearings remotely. Preparing for a hearing at the Employment Tribunal is challenging in itself, however our student advisor’s have taken it in their stride in conducting several Employment Tribunal hearings from home. This ability to represent our client’s in even the most uncertain times is a testament to the dedication of our student volunteers.
“A great highlight within the Law Clinic from the past six weeks is that we conducted our first remote Initial Advice Clinic (IAC) on 20 April. Before the pandemic, our IAC’s were one of the busiest parts of our service. Our IAC’s composed of two fast-paced night’s each month, where on average 20 members of the public were receiving on the spot legal advice. Whilst our first remote zoom IAC saw significantly less people, the drive of our volunteer student advisors and solicitors to hold this session is something to be celebrated.
“Despite the majority of our services still running, unfortunately, volunteers working on some of our projects have not been able to continue at this time. These projects include our Scottish Women’s Rights Centre, Criminal Convictions Unit and Prisons project. We hope that work will be able to resume on these as soon as possible.
“Reflecting on working from home from a personal perspective, I have found it difficult to adjust to my very quiet dining room and miss the buzz and chatter of our offices. This has been a particularly surreal experience as my time at university and the Law Clinic is coming to an end. When motivation is dwindling, I think it has been important to set targets both personally and professionally to what I would like to achieve during this time. And while I can’t say that my Spanish has improved to the level it should have, I think it’s equally as important to be proud of completing daily tasks and accomplishing small goals.
“At the end of the day, this is a time which we could have never predicted, and everyone is coping the best they can. What I am certain of during this global pandemic is that I am extremely proud to be part of the Law Clinic, which is still helping to provide access to justice, even in the most uncertain times.”
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