Students – How To Join

“In 2018/19 over 200 students took part in pro bono activities through UEA Law Clinic.”

Polly Morgan – Law Clinic Director

The UEA Law Clinic provides students with the opportunity to get involved in pro-bono activities and work in partnership with leading local and national charities. Interested in volunteering with us? The pro bono activities at UEA Law Clinic will help to shape your university experience by:

  • Developing your substantive legal knowledge of many different areas of law
  • Increasing your tactical awareness and strategizing how to run a case
  • Improve practical legal skills, for example by undertaking welfare benefits tribunal advocacy
  • Developing your knowledge of professional ethics and the regulatory context
  • Developing soft skills such as client care, when dealing with people with significant personal difficulties
  • Working to deadlines, especially those imposed by a court or tribunal
  • Working as part of a team
  • Thinking holistically about what help the client needs, including non-legal and legal, and liaising with official agencies for the clients’ benefit
  • Having an appreciation of the social context in which a legal problem arises
  • Making you feel part of the local community as well as part of the UEA community
  • Feel good about making a difference to people’s lives

“The Clinic have aided in the recovery of £7m in welfare benefits wrongly denied to members of the public.”

Judi Lincoln – NCLS Volunteer Manager

As a UEA Law Student, you have access to becoming part of UEA’s award-winning Law Clinic. The Clinic enables you to volunteer in a wide range of pro bono (volunteer) activities provided by our partnerships. The work of our students within the Law Clinic has gained national recognition and has been awarded ‘Best Pro Bono Activities’ at the prestigious LawCareers.Net Student Law Society Awards, in 2016, 2018 and 2019.

 All students who want to join UEA law clinic can do so, subject to safeguarding requirements in some roles. Access to some teams is by selection only, and we encourage students to develop their roles and expertise across the years of their degree. For example, many first year law students start with Street Law. As a Street Law team member, you may find yourself going to a local school to lead fun activities including mock trials, quizzes and game shows, participating in University Open Days ‘Law Taster’ events on campus or informing members of the public about their legal rights.  Street Law will develop your confidence with the law, whilst putting your academic learning into practice in the real world. As well as enhancing your understanding of law, you will be able to deal with a diverse range of people of all ages and boost your employability. You might go on to run for the Street Law Committee, training next year’s cohort, or decide to join one of the other Law Clinic activities.

Alternatively, you may be excited by the opportunity to investigate possible miscarriages of justice with our Justice Project team. The Justice Project was founded by Louise Shorter, the CEO of Inside Justice, a charity that investigates potential miscarriages of justice. This project gives students the opportunity to investigate real life cases where long-term prisoners maintaining their innocence of serious crimes of which they have been convicted. Through re-examining evidence and trying to find new lines of enquiry, you could be working on some of the Justice Project’s serious criminal cases, potentially changing the course of someone’s life.

Would you like to be trained to investigate an alleged miscarriage of justice? If so the Justice Project at UEA needs you. The Justice Project is a voluntary, non-accredited opportunity to work on a live case where a serving prisoner claims they’ve been wrongly convicted – similar to the American Innocence Projects. Volunteers will work with Louise Shorter, lead investigator on BBC Television’s critically acclaimed series Conviction*. Can you help find the evidence which will prove innocence or guilt? You will learn how evidence is gathered for a trial, how a wrongful conviction may come about; you’ll hear from the prisoner about what s/he says went wrong and learn how to analyse new evidence in considering whether it might be heard by the Court of Appeal. Please email L.Shorter@uea.ac.uk by October 9th 2020 to ask for an application form.

*Conviction: Murder at the Station was transmitted on BBC Two in 2016. The second series Conviction: Murder in Suburbia was broadcast in 2018. Both series can be viewed on “bob” or at the website of the miscarriage of justice charity which Louise runs www.insidejustice.co.uk