City Law School is rightly proud of the Pro Bono opportunities that it offers to its students on academic and professional programmes. The ability to do a variety of activities at different organisations gives our students the 'real world' experience to complement their studies. This commitment is unique to the law school at City. We undertake various traditional activities such as law advice clinics as well as more innovative initiatives such as those available to our employment law students.
These are open throughout the academic year and run two days a week. There is a daytime session and two evening sessions. In these sessions members of the public come along to receive basic one off advice. The advice is then given to the client but in conjunction with a qualified in house lawyer and external solicitors. General advice and specialist employment advice is offered to clients; in some cases the students will draft a follow-up letter for the client.
Training is provided and is an excellent opportunity to learn about law in action and work with practitioners.
This is an opportunity open to BPTC and LPC students.
This scheme provides advice and representation for Litigants-in-Person (LiPs) using the winding up court in the High Court (Rolls Building). It is administered by BPTC and LPC City Law School students, with voluntary barristers from the Chancery and commercial bar providing advice and representation to the LiPs. Student volunteers receive training before they volunteer on the scheme. Every year around 12 students are placed on a rota for the High Court.
This is an opportunity to practice insolvency law for current BPTC and LPC students.
This scheme provides a unique opportunity for students to volunteer with the Immigration and Asylum team at Kesar & Co solicitors. Kesar & Co specialise in all areas of human rights, custody and detention related law, including immigration/asylum, housing, welfare benefits, employment and mental health.
Students will receive legal training from Kesar & Co before volunteering on a rota and also learn “on the job”. Every year around 12 students are recruited to work in this specialised area of law.
This is an opportunity open to current BPTC and LPC students.
CCA is the nation’s first criminal appeals charity law firm, investigating and litigating miscarriages of justice in the UK, taking cases to the Criminal Case Review Commission and the Court of Appeal.
CLS in conjunction with the centre has launched a new clinical programme where students review miscarriages of justice cases and help prepare them for submission to the Criminal Case Review Commission. The programme has two parts: training and student placements. The training is open to everyone, with around eight places for students. The placement starts from mid-September to mid-February and students must commit to one day a week during term time.
Students work alongside CCA solicitors reviewing papers, taking advice from Counsel, researching legal and forensic issues and where appropriate, to meet with the prisoner and their family members.
Over the course of the academic year the Centre has opportunities for paralegals to volunteer at the Centre’s “law firm”. The paralegals will be responsible for assisting solicitors with casework administration.
This is a unique opportunity for CLS students to gain hands on legal experience in the area of criminal appeals. It is open to current BPTC and LPC students, as well as GDL and GELLB students.
AvMA is the leading patient safety and justice organisation; an independent charity which provides support and impartial advice about the options open to people who have been affected by a medical accident or error. CLS students will have the opportunity to volunteer on the helpline service which is open five days a week between 10am and 5pm and staffed entirely by volunteers. The aim of the helpline is to enable people affected by medical accidents to receive easier access to a sympathetic, well-informed advisor. All volunteers are trained by AvMA on clinical negligence and required to undertake at least one, two-hour shift at regular intervals.
This is a great opportunity for students to be trained on medical negligence and offer telephone advice to potential litigants.
Please note this opportunity is open to BPTC, LPC and GDL students.
This is one of our partnership clinics, working with a firm of solicitors were the lawyer provides advice to the clinet in an interview. Students can observe the advice being given and assist with obtaining client details and instructions beforehand and maintaining accurate records. The students use CLS facilities for doing this and they attend the clinic in Waterloo on an evening rota system. This opportunity is available year round (Oct to Oct).
2 options here:
Reprieve Internship: Students can volunteer for a one-day internship programme with the well-known human rights organisation Reprieve. Students will work in Reprieve’s London office assisting lawyers with legal research and casework on Pakistani death row cases. The programme runs from October to February.
Pakistan death row legal research: Students will have an opportunity to work with a qualified member of staff to undertake legal research on behalf of Reprieve on death row cases before the Pakistani courts. Students will work with the member of staff either independently or in small teams on a range of issues from torture to juvenility to terrorism. The programme runs from October to February.
The NCDV provides students with an opportunity to work as a McKenzie friend, which involves assisting and advising a litigant in person both in the preparation of their case and during the hearing. They may be given an opportunity to address the court on their client’s behalf. One of the main tasks is to draft a witness statement to enable their client to obtain injunctive relief. Students must undertake training before they can volunteer; this year’s training takes place in October. Students may either volunteer for the NCDV as a McKenzie friend or convert their involvement into the option subject to be assessed as part of the BPTC. All LPC students can apply to work with NCDV but as yet it is not available as an option subject.
This is an opportunity for students to advise and represent clients in the Employment and Social Security Tribunals after having undergone a training programme. Similar to the NCDV option, BPTC students can either do this as a Pro Bono activity or choose it as an option subject whereby their involvement on a case is then assessed as part of the BPTC process. An induction day is set for late September/early October; by registering at FRU students can be sure of receiving an alert when the next dates are set. All LPC students can apply to work with FRU, but as yet it is not available as an option subject.
This involves BPTC/LPC/law students assisting, advising and representing students at City University London in relation to disciplinary, plagiarism, appeals or complaints hearings. The office is located in Northampton Square and students will be required to commit themselves to one block of four hours per week. It is a great opportunity for students to carry our casework and representation before various university bodies. It has proved to be a great success with our students and those clients who benefit from the service.
We send up to five students per year on a self-financed trip to an internship programme at the University of the Western Cape over the summer. Flights are funded and accommodation subsidised. During the internship students assist with the advice clinic, carry out street law projects and accompany attorneys to observe court hearings. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity and is akin to working in a South African attorney’s office with all the attendant learning outcomes.
Every year we send up to two student volunteers to an advice centre in Cape Town to work with lawyers and advisors in a campaigning women’s law centre. The internship can be anything from six weeks to six months. Flights are funded. You will assist in human rights, domestic violence and educational work.
Read one City student's account of this experience via the blog
In the third term students who have chosen the employment law option have the opportunity to work with the City University UCU trade union. Students will be able to assist officers in researching areas of labour and employment law and understand its impact on how trade unions operate.
Every year the School tries to undertake educational and training programmes with the local community. These take place by our law students organising legal sessions with local youth clubs, religious establishments, schools, etc. It usually involves giving talks and presentations on aspects of the law that they have requested, for example on areas relating to the criminal process, offensive weapons and drugs.
Every year we invite students to apply for work on a legal research project for the UN on issues surrounding past conflicts.
The aim of the Big Voice project is for pupils from local state schools (16-18 year olds) to engage with the law, courts and legal profession. Students attend and meet judges at the Supreme Court, receive seminars on legal careers from local firms of solicitors and undertake mock trials.
The City Law School has entered into a partnership to supply student volunteers for this well-established independent housing advice centre, which offers specialist housing advice to the residents of the London Borough of Greenwich. Students help to run a drop in and telephone advice line. Full training on housing law is provided and students act in a triage role as well as draft basic letters and complete forms for members of the public.
This is an opportunity open to current BPTC and LPC students.
This is a partnership with a set of chambers in which law students provide advice and support to parents and children who are dealing with exclusion. Law students are training as advocates and take cases to governing body and local authority appeal panels.
This is an opportunity open to all current students.
Students are able to offer verbal advice to people who have set up small businesses. The advice given is supervised by a number of lawyers from local City solicitors firms. Advice is over a range of subjects including anything from how to set up a company to insolvency.
This is an opportunity open to LLB, GELLB and GDL students.
We try to invite 25-30 community organisations to a fair who are looking for volunteers so that students can sign up with them if they wish and learn more about those specific NGOs. In the past the invitees have varied and included Disability Law Service, Victim Support, Advocates for International Development, Howard League for Penal Reform, Justice, Terence Higgins Trust, CHinese Information and aAdvice Centre, Aire Centre, Holborn CAB, Battersea Law Centre etc.
For more information on any of the pro bono opportunities please contact Sarwan Singh, Senior Lecturer at The City Law School.