University lecturers and solicitors explain how the Community Law Clinic benefits both students and members of the local community, with insights from students and a member of the public who successfully used the service.
Community Law Clinic
Feeling lost with your legal problem?
The University of Exeter Community Law Clinic may be able to help.
The Community Law Clinic opened its doors in September 2017. We assist individuals who are not eligible for legal aid or are otherwise unable to afford private legal advice.
We recognise and seek to fill the gaps left by legal aid cuts and help individuals access justice in a system which often appears overly complex, confusing and expensive.
Law students, under supervision from qualified legal professionals, provide free legal advice and information to members of the public in a variety of areas of law.
By collaborating with legal professionals, our students gain valuable skills including research, and client interviewing skills, while at the same time, providing a quality service. We achieved the Specialist Quality Mark from Recognising Excellence in January 2023.
These services range from assisting with simple form filling and letter writing, to legal advice.
We are a busy clinic, and our wait list times can vary. Your matter is triaged by a qualified legal professional and if we cannot assist you because it is not within our specialism or capacity, we will seek to signpost you to a service that might be able to.
Please see below for more information about what each of our clinics cover.
Together as a community, we can make a difference and provide access to justice.
Law students will guide and support you through the stages of your legal problem including employment, housing issues, benefits and general civil litigation – completely free of charge and by appointment only.
Students will conduct the interviews to learn about your problem and provide written legal advice by letter while supervised by qualified legal professionals.
Everyone deserves to have a voice in matters affecting their environment. In collaboration with the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF), the Access to Justice Clinic also assists individuals or community groups in matters involving environmental law issues.
The Clinic is open year round. Students work on the Clinic during term-time via the Access to Justice Clinic module and during the summer as a volunteering opportunity.
The availability of immigration advice and assistance in the southwest is very limited. In response to this the university has set up a service for individuals in need of immigration advice, information or assistance. We also connect with local organisations to support those working with individuals who require immigration advice.
The clinic is completely free of charge and by appointment only. Law students work under the supervision of practising solicitors. The service will provide limited advice and information, signposting, and assistance with completing forms. Types of case may include:
- Initial Leave to Remain applications | Family, Private Life, 7 years residence for children, Human Rights Outside the Rules (e.g. Article 3 or 8 ECHR)
- Entry Clearance Applications
- Further Leave to Remain Applications
- Settlement applications
- Refugee Family Reunion
- Nationality – Naturalisation of an adult and/or registration of children as British citizens
- EU Settlement Scheme
- Travel Document Applications
Priority will be given to individuals who show a particular vulnerability or urgent need, such as destitution and risk of homelessness.
The Clinic is open all year round. Law students can volunteer for this clinic, by application at the relevant time.