GCU students offer free legal assistance to Glasgow
Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) students took to the streets to promote the University’s law clinic, a student-led and student-run initiative designed to give them practical experience while studying for their law degrees.
Since it launched in March 2014, the clinic has saved or won its clients over £7,000.
The students set up in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street to promote the pro bono work of the clinic at a time of year when people in vulnerable positions are more in need of assistance and can often feel overwhelmed.
They engaged with over 700 members of the public, offering free legal assistance, setting up appointments for the clinic and handing out flyers.
The law clinic provides free, confidential legal advice and assistance to individuals within the Greater Glasgow community who do not qualify for legal aid and cannot afford professional legal advice.
Since its launch, it has specialised in housing, employment, consumer and contract law. Students can provide general legal advice, draft legal letters, represent clients in court and negotiate on behalf of clients in contractual disputes.
Claire McFadzean, the law clinic’s academic director, said: “The work of the Law Clinic aligns perfectly with GCU’s role as the University for the Common Good. I am very proud of our LLB students and how they positively impact on our local community.”
Patricia Taylor, the law clinic’s operations manager, said: “Having a presence on Buchanan Street as Glasgow’s shops are entering their busiest period allowed us to promote the law clinic to a huge number of people. The recent changes in consumer law, for example, have left some people unsure of their rights and this is one of many areas in which we’re able to help.”
As well as its case work with clients, the law clinic has an outreach team which works with local schools, educating children on how the law impacts their lives and the rights and protections they have because of it.