Websites of some new law centres

Fife Law Centre

We will start with Fife Law Centre, which opened this month, though we will not spend too much time here as there’s not much to see. I will be gentle as, in setting up a law centre, there’s a lot of work which probably doesn’t leave a lot of time for tarting up the website. The site looks presentable enough, but there is next to no content (other than a statement of intent, to download), and even registering your details to log in yields nothing further. One to return to in due course, I think.

Govanhill Law Centre

Govanhill Law Centre is one year old this month and is a sister office to the Govan Law Centre (therefore I must declare an interest here). The site, however, has only been up and running for about a month (see above comments about setting up a law centre!) and jolly nice it looks too.

As far as content is concerned, there is the usual set of links, information about the law centre, news, events and a “contact us” form. What sets it aside from other firms, then, is the set of advice leaflets on a variety of useful legal topics (housing, employment, education etc), which are provided in both Slovakian and English. This is very relevant in the Govanhill area, where a large number of Slovakian Roma families have settled.

Renfrewshire Law Centre

Renfrewshire Law Centre is not a new law centre as such, but a renaming or rebranding of the old Paisley Law Centre – where I did most of my traineeship. The new name seems to be designed to reflect more accurately the centre’s geographical reach, and comes with a new logo (which looks rather like that of Reid Kerr College).

Anyway, the website is very well presented for what I understand to be the work of one of their staff, rather than a professional web designer. A lot of the content is given over to information about the centre itself, but there is an impressive level of detail on this front – including full biographical details of all staff and volunteers.

Of more use to the interested visitor would be the “Advice” section, which provides brief but useful guides to the law in a number of areas, from employment to legal aid to child law. This section also includes a section called “XYZ Maginalia”, which includes a section on famous lawyers (fact and fiction). This is almost certainly the only place where you will find Donald Findlay, Tony Blair and Rumpole of the Bailey mentioned in the same breath!

Rounding off the site is a legal news section with intermittent reports and commentary on legal developments of general interest, and a page entitled “Quid Juris?” which invites questions from the general public (or that section of it which speaks Latin, at any rate), to be answered by RLC solicitors. At the time of writing, there were no questions posed or answered, but you can send a question by visiting .

All in all, a professional, useful site.

Ethnic Minorities Law Centre

Again, the Ethnic Minorities Law Centre is not new, but their office in Edinburgh is (relatively) new. This site is a real favourite of my colleague Anne because it passes the “Ronseal” test and does exactly what it says on the front page. Immediately you arrive there, you are told exactly who EMLC are and what they do, and are greeted with all the links you’ll need down the left hand side of the page and across the bottom.

While all of that is true, the site has some major problems. It is no more than a brochure site (i.e. it tells you only about EMLC and offers little else), whereas some advice leaflets or pages would be welcome. More seriously, it is ugly, has some serious cross-browser problems, is badly coded and (in parts) wildly inaccessible.

A word about TLDs

Choosing a URL is more than just what looks/sounds best: there are some conventions to observe, particularly in the use of top level domains (TLDs). For example, the .com extension implies that the website belongs to an international commercial organisation; to a UK commercial organisation; and to a non-commercial organisation in the UK.

So: Fife, Renfrewshire and Govanhill – consider yourselves told off; and EMLC – bonus points for getting it right!

Who writes this column

The website review column is written by Iain A Nisbet of Govan Law Centre

All of these links and hundreds more can be found at

Share this article
Add To Favorites