Kent Law Clinic is a partnership between students, academics and solicitors and barristers in practice locally with two primary objectives: to provide a free public service to people in Kent who need legal advice or representation and who cannot afford to pay for it; and to enhance the education of students at Kent Law School through direct experience of legal practice.
Through applying the law to real situations and live problems of our clients, students develop valuable legal skills such as interviewing, negotiating and advocacy. At the same time students are encouraged to step back and reflect on their practical legal work, and evaluate the laws and procedures they encounter in practice. This blog offers a showcase for the reflective work produced by our students (and our solicitors). It also helps offer a meaningful insight into the work of the Clinic and into the way in which the legal system works more broadly.
Read the Law Clinic’s latest Annual Report.
Wigoder Law Building
Kent Law Clinic is based on the ground floor of the Wigoder Law Building on the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus.
- Coordinators: Rhea and Amanda
- Supervisors: Elaine, Graham (also Clinic Director), Philippa, Richard, Sheona, Tony and Vivien
Kent Law School students are encouraged to participate and join in Clinic discussions and activities. You can:
- participate in the popular weekly Clinic Meetings (held at 2pm every Tuesday in term time), reporting back and discussing Clinic cases and also cases in the news
- attend regular legal discussion groups led by Clinic supervisors – where students will be able to consider new requests for advice, carry out legal research, discuss case strategies and report back to Clinic meetings
- attend the free weekly advice sessions to watch practising lawyers interview and give advice to local clients (currently taking place online) and reporting back to Clinic meetings
Clinical Option Module
- As a Stage 2 or Stage 3 undergraduate student you can undertake LW543 Clinical Option – students undertake casework in two areas of law with two supervisors, one in each term
- Cases can be in any area of law that the Clinic assists clients with (current law students can see the LW543 Clinical Option module guidelines on Moodle for more details)
- Student casework is closely supervised
- Numbers are limited and applicants are chosen by ballot.
Ad Hoc Events
Projects in the last few years have included:
- Demystifying the Family Court – an open evening where members of the public were invited to hear from members of the legal profession about how family court proceedings work
- From Arrest to Appeal – a one day event where local organisations and students explored pertinent issues surrounding each stage of the criminal procedure
- Child Refugees Welcome? Working together to meet the challenged of the Immigration Acts 2014 & 2016 – this was a day long conference co-hosted by the Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit (MiCLU) at Islington Law Centre and Kent Law Clinic
If you live in Kent and need legal advice but can’t afford to pay, you can seek help from the Clinic. We currently specialise in the following areas of law:
- access to land
- public law
- welfare benefits.
We may also be able to offer advice in the following areas:
- wills and probate
- civil litigation
Term-time only (October to March inclusive)
We can take on a very limited number of cases which are conducted by student caseworkers under the supervision of the Clinic’s legal practitioners
Where possible, we will offer you a free Monday evening advice session with a volunteer legal advisor. Law students will attend and observe the advice session.
March to September
Please note, that the Clinic operates a reduced advice/referral service from March to September.
Every Monday evening in term time, the Law Clinic holds advice sessions for members of the public in the Wigoder Law Building. At these sessions, solicitors and barristers in private practice donate their time to advise clients and work with out team. Students help arrange the sessions, observe the volunteer advisers at the interviews and discuss the cases with them. We are indebted to all of our volunteer legal advisors and couldn’t function in the way that we do without them. (Please note that, while COVID-19 restrictions are in place, these sessions will be held online via Zoom).
COVID-19 is still with us, and the numbers of people attending and working in the Clinic will be limited to ensure that staff, students and clients are comfortable and safe. Our Clinic meetings, discussion meetings and the Monday night advice sessions will be conducted online. Supervision of students’ casework and client meetings may take place in person or online.
The Monday evening advice sessions will be held remotely, via Zoom. This may be easier for you if you would otherwise have difficulty travelling to the Law Clinic and/or if you have children or other caring responsibilities.
If you wish to seek assistance from the Kent Law Clinic team, it is essential that you complete our New Enquiry Form. Please note, Kent Law Clinic’s services operate in line with the University’s academic term dates between October and March, with a reduced service provided between March and September. We may be able to refer you to other organisations that can help you, once we have received your enquiry form, we will consider the relevant referral details for you.
For existing cases and other matters, please email email@example.com (for new enquiries, please complete the online New Enquiry Form linked above).
Please email us for the quickest response. If you do not have any internet access (for non-urgent matters), you can leave a voicemail message on 01227 823311 and we will respond as soon as we can.
The Clinic has received numerous awards recognising and celebrating its work, including:
- 2018 Kent Law Society 200th Anniversary Award for a “significant contribution to the development and practice of law in Kent”
- 2014 The Lawyer Award for ‘Ethical Initiative of the Year’ presented by Joanna Lumley at The Lawyer Awards 2014
- 2012 The LawWorks Attorney General’s Award for the Best New Pro Bono Activity for its ‘Access to Land’ project presented by the Attorney General, the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC, MP at the House of Commons
- 2008 Staff and students from the Clinic were presented with the Queen’s Anniversary Prize by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace, for ‘enriching the academic study of law through a casework service to the community’
- 2007 ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community’ prize at the Times Higher Education Awards
- 1998 The Clinic was joint winner of the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Civil Justice’ award in the Times/JUSTICE Awards, and were presented with the award by the Rt Hon Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer in 11 Downing Street.