Partnership opportunity – Community legal advice in Education law, with SWLLC

SWLLC is a community based legal aid practice and a registered charity. Our 50 year history dates back to 1974 when the first Law Centres in Wandsworth were created. 

We work across six boroughs, Croydon, Merton, Kingston, Richmond and Sutton and Wandsworth, helping people to access, understand and enforce their legal rights. SWLLC helps 5-7,000 people per year. SWLLC provides full legal casework, representation and advice in the following areas of social welfare law: Community Care, Debt, Employment, Housing, Immigration and Asylum and in Welfare Rights. 

The pro bono service 

South West London Law Centres runs one of the largest pro bono programmes in the country. In partnership with around 400 volunteer solicitors from City law firms and smaller, local firms, we offer one-off, free telephone advice in many different areas of law. Together with volunteer lawyers, barristers and trainee advisers, we deliver on average 100 free telephone consultations a week supporting hundreds of individuals and families to access justice. 

In 2023-24, the service assisted a total of 2,325 people in understanding their legal rights. 

Local need 

SWLLC is now seeking to establish new, strategic partnerships with Firms and in house departments to fulfill an area of unmet needs, and deliver pro bono, one-off high-quality legal advice in Education Law. 

There is currently very limited free legal advice available in Education aw, alongside growing need. Based on a pilot education clinic run in 2023, there is high public demand from families trying to defend their rights, whilst navigating challenging legal processes such as discrimination, school admissions for children without EHC plans, school exclusions, special educational needs and child safety. 

Volunteering opportunity 

We are looking for volunteer solicitors with at least 2 years PQE in Education Law who can commit to staffing a remote clinic and deliver one-off free legal advice on the phone at least once a month. 

· Empower members of the community by educating them about their rights 
· The clinics are fully remote 
· Fully flexible schedule, volunteer at a time and date which suits your need 
· SWLLC will provide you with a list of pre-booked suitable matters ahead of the sessions 
· Your details will be kept anonymous 
· The advice delivered will be covered by SWLLC Insurance 

Volunteering is open to trainee solicitors provided they are supervised by fully qualified solicitors. Volunteering at the community legal advice clinics will allow junior lawyers to gain first hand practical experience and work with a variety of clients from all backgrounds, supporting skills they will use in fee-earning practice, such as interviewing clients, problem analysis, client relations and dealing with “difficult” clients.