We support and run a range of student-led legal advice clinics in the School of Law that benefit the community, whilst providing valuable real-world experience for our students.
These are also known as 'pro bono' services - a Latin term meaning "for the good of the public". In the legal profession, it refers to the provision of legal services free of charge.
Since the launch of our first pro bono scheme in 2008, we have expanded to 10 schemes with over 200 places for student volunteers.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students can volunteer and benefit from improved interpersonal skills, legal research, public speaking and client care skills.
Students can apply to volunteer with pro bono schemes at the beginning of semester one. Students can only volunteer with one scheme at a time.
The variety of schemes and the number of places available make this law school stand out from the crowd. Here are the current schemes that our students can get involved with.
Students will have an opportunity to volunteer as a part of their Appropriate Adult scheme where they may be called upon to support with vulnerable suspects when parents or carers are unable or unwilling to attend, or police procedures such as witnessing identification capture or forensic samples and photographs.
Students work alongside fully qualified commercial solicitors to give reliable and relevant advice and take part in various advice sessions that are offered to SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) by the Innovations Centre.
Criminal Justice Initiative
This is a collaboration between the Centre for Criminal Appeals and partner universities, aiming to train the next generation of lawyers who will prosecute and defend people accused of crimes and transform the way such cases are approached, both by the system and by individual lawyers.
Working as part of a team, student benefit from being mentored by academic staff and undergo training covering a range of topics such as the appeals process and forensic document analysis.
FreeLaw is a student-led service offering free legal advice to the public. Working in groups students cover most areas of law, conducting interviews and undertaking the required research. The research is always overseen by a qualified solicitor to ensure the advice received is accurate and relevant.
Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre
Working in a team, the Review Centre is student-led and centres upon the study and re-investigation of alleged wrongful criminal convictions. The project is innovative in giving students a unique first-hand experience and insight into this area of criminal justice utilising a mentored teaching environment to maximize learning opportunities.
Sheffield Foyer are a non profit organisation with the aim of helping young single people aged 16-25 who are either homeless or in housing need. A significant portion of their work is dedicated to offering support, training, education and social life skills training. Working with this organisation students will have the opportunity to work with the benefits advisor, providing accurate information and support.
Partner Legal Advice Clinics
South Yorkshire Refugee Law and Justice Centre
South Yorkshire Refugee Law and Justice Centre is a locally led and run, non-political and non-denominational group of volunteers. Its members include lawyers, students, people experienced in the asylum field and those who are new to it. Students benefit from the organisation's own Training Programme, with the aim of integrating practical experience of the asylum process with academic knowledge and legal skills.
Citizens Advice Sheffield
Citizens Advice Sheffield is the city's leading provider of advisory and advocacy services. They help about 20,000 people a year, aiming to tackle poverty and campaign for social justice. Students benefit from working alongside a large workforce of both volunteers and paid staff. Students will have the opportunity to develop skills in interviewing clients and helping them secure their legal rights. Students will also be given training in the legal processes around challenging benefit decisions, analysing the strength of your clients case, gathering relevant evidence and preparing submissions for mandatory reconsiderations and tribunals.
Support Through Court
The School works in partnership with Support Through Court at the Sheffield Combined Court Centre. The Support Through Court organisation provides support to unrepresented litigants, inexperienced court users, witnesses and family members, which varies from practical information and help with filling in forms to going in to court with litigants and taking notes of the proceedings. Students benefit from full Support Through Court training and having the opportunity to build their knowledge of county court and family court procedures.
Victim Support is an independent charity for people affected by crime and traumatic events in England and Wales. Students benefit from working alongside specialist teams in providing individual, independent, emotional and practical help to enable people to cope and recover from the effects of crime. Victim Support also has a wealth of support and training available for any volunteer who joins them, including regular one-to-ones.
Langsett Advice and Area Resources Centre
The Langsett Advice and Area Resources Centre offers advice on a variety of areas, including benefits, employment, housing, consumer, tax, debt and much more. Students will have the opportunity to work alongside a team of volunteers and paid advisors in creating a seamless customer service.
The Witness Service provides a vital service offering free and independent support for witnesses in every criminal court across England and Wales. Students benefit from practical information about process, as well as emotional support to help increase confidence when giving evidence.
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