A solicitor advocate in Dundee has widened access to justice by opening a legal drop-in centre in the deprived community where he was born, The Courier reports.
Kris Gilmartin, 34 said Gilmartin’s legal drop-in centre on Charleston’s Craigmount Road would give people advice on civil and criminal matters.
The new centre will be open every weekday between 1 to 5pm except for Wednesdays.
Mr Gilmartin said: “We’ve spent about two years thinking about it.
“We had a number of clients saying they were having difficulty getting into the office because they didn’t have the money or time to do it.
“So we thought, why not bring the office out and give people better access getting to see a solicitor?
“One of the main reasons is to provide greater access to justice. If someone is walking past with a concern they can get advice right away.”
He added that many people shy away from seeking legal assistance when they need it.
He said: “They’re concerned it’s a bit formal or its going to cost a lot of money.
“The hope is that this has more the feel of a drop-in centre that people can come in and get some advice, whether it’s benefits or housing or debt.
“Charleston and Whitfield were the two furthest out areas that people were having the most difficulty getting into the city centre from.
“Another reason to pick Charleston was that I was born here, which was another attraction.”
Prospects for the centre are good after an initially positive reaction from clients.
He said: “The initial feedback has been really positive, particularly with the prospect of video conferencing, which means I can basically be in two places at once.
“We’ve had clients in already so there’s a bit of a take up.
“The queries have ranged from criminal issues to problems with benefits sanctions.”