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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 can help.

The Community Law Clinic opened its doors in September 2017 in an effort to fill the gap left by legal aid cuts and provide important early legal advice provision.

How does one enforce their rights in an overly complicated and expensive system? With help from those that are trained in such system.

Third year law students as part of the Access to Justice module, under supervision from solicitors and barristers from the Clinic team and the wider the legal community, provide free legal advice to members of the public across the Access to Justice Clinic and Immigration Clinic. 

By collaborating with legal professionals, the students gain valuable skills, while at the same time, providing a quality service.

Students from all years are able to volunteer over the summer months and opportunities are advertised by email.

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.