The Liverpool Law Clinic runs a Family Advice Project and our team of qualified solicitors advise clients about family law problems involving children, and are assisted by trained and supervised law students. The service is offered for free to those who cannot afford to pay a solicitor privately elsewhere. We are looking for experienced family lawyers to volunteer for one-off advice appointments with clients, for children matters only. The appointments can be attended in person or virtually over Microsoft Teams and will have a couple of students in attendance. We have a minimum time commitment of 2-3 times a year for one-off appointments. Volunteers will be helping to train the next generation of lawyers and helping to plug the gap with the lack of legal aid available to people who need help with family law cases.
The Liverpool Law Clinic at the University of Liverpool is a legal practice with six lawyers that provides pro bono legal services in a variety of areas, including in child arrangements, social care, education and immigration.
Legal advice for parents of children with a disability or long-term illness
We provide free legal advice about education to parents of children living with Special Educational Needs or a Disability.
We can advise in relation to all areas of Special Educational Needs, including;
Support at school to meet a child’s Special Educational Needs
Obtaining an Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment
The content of an EHC Plan and choosing a school
Appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) in relation to all aspects of an EHC Plan, including choice of school
You will receive any urgent advice on the day of the appointment, in some cases you will receive a detailed letter of advice. Advice is provided by in-house solicitors, assisted by law students from the University of Liverpool Law Clinic. Our students have been trained in confidentiality and have signed our confidentiality agreement before taking part in this project.
By partaking in our advice service our students experience a real-life advisory role client-practitioner relationship ideal preparation for their future careers.
All advice will be given by our in-house solicitor. The scope of our services means that students are unable to provide legal advice on the day of the appointment.
We also provide public legal education. If you are an organisation that might benefit from engagement with our service, please get in touch.
We target our advice at those unable to pay for it and those not entitled to legal aid.
The Clinic is not competitive with our colleagues in local firms; we seek to reach clients who are not in scope or otherwise eligible for legal aid and who cannot pay privately for services. We work alongside our colleagues in practice to complement the work in the Legal Aid sector.
We would be grateful if clients with unfunded cases in our work areas could be signposted to our service or referred directly to us. We will signpost or refer appropriate clients to colleagues in local firms, particularly for judicial review cases.
Our observation is that most people just do not know whether they are entitled to free legal advice. Where we see clients with social care issues for which Legal Aid is available, and we consider that further advice is needed, we provide initial advice and refer cases to an appropriate firm. Whilst Legal Aid is available for certain SEN cases, it is limited and there are no Legal Aid providers in Merseyside. In fact, currently there are only two providers in the whole country.
We are, therefore, the only source of free legal advice in the area for SEN issues. As our primary purpose is to educate our students what we can do is limited. We see clients in term time only and we can provide advice to a limited number of people who need it, though we are always looking for ways to expand our service.
If you are able to support any of these projects through volunteering your time, please let us know. We will be happy to discuss Clinic volunteering opportunities with you, and we would be grateful for any offer. To refer clients or discuss volunteering, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Clients may be signposted to: www.liverpool.ac.uk/law/liverpool-law-clinic/.
Family Law Advice at Liverpool Law Clinic
We provide a free and confidential advice service in relation to child arrangements (we do not advise on divorce or financial matters). Our team of qualified solicitors can advise you about family law problems involving children. They are assisted by trained and supervised law students. The service is offered for free to those who cannot afford to pay a solicitor privately elsewhere.
We are not currently taking on any new clients until week commencing 19th September 2022.
• Family Advice and Support Appointments (child matters only)
We offer appointments for advice on court procedure, alternatives to court and strengths and weaknesses of your case. Following advice appointments, we may be able to offer support in form filling and statement writing depending on capacity.
In order to arrange an appointment please complete the online form here which explains our appointment procedures and timescales.
• Family Law Legal Advice Service for LGBTQ+ Families
Liverpool Law Clinic gives free confidential legal advice and support about:
Planning a baby
Managing legal agreements after birth
Appointments are available in person at the Law Clinic* or virtually via a Zoom or Teams video call. In order to arrange an appointment please complete the online form here which explains our appointment procedures and timescales.
• Liverpool Family Court
Our family law team also provide free and confidential legal advice and support at the First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointments (FHDRA) in child arrangement cases. The service is run by solicitors and volunteer law students from the University of Liverpool with appointments taking place in advance of your hearing.
• Immigration Advice
Our lawyers are assisted by trained and supervised law students. The service is offered for free to those who cannot afford to pay a lawyer privately elsewhere.
In very few cases, our lawyers are able to help people write and submit their application, but unfortunately, we cannot offer this service to everyone we advise.
The Clinic advises, assists and represents clients with cases relating to fresh asylum claims, refugee family reunion, statelessness claims, registration of children as British citizens and extension of stay.