Claire McFadzean, Lecturer in Law at Glasgow Caledonian University tell us how their law clinic looks to widen legal access and provide a learning experience to young people.

The Law Clinic at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) was established in 2014 by Lecturer in Law, Claire McFadzean.   The Law Clinic’s primary objective is to widen access to justice by filling the gap of unmet legal need in our community. We provide free, confidential legal advice and assistance to individuals who do not qualify for legal aid and cannot otherwise afford professional legal advice.

GCU Law Clinic also operates a Street Law Project where we work with local schools and colleges in our community delivering interactive Street Law sessions. The workshops are designed to encourage pupils to think more about the law and how they interact with it in everyday life. In addition, we also provide more focused taster sessions (such as mooting) for pupils and students who have expressed an interest in studying law at university. This ongoing project has allowed the Clinic to build up some strong relationships with local schools, which we value greatly, since we are committed to widening access to the legal profession.

From a teaching perspective the Law Clinic provides a platform in order to give LLB students a practical learning experience whilst studying for their law degree. The students learn how to deal with clients as well as taking on valuable leadership roles within the Clinic. Many students go on to volunteer throughout their entire undergraduate degree.

The Law Clinic was honoured to win in the Pro Bono category at The Law Awards of Scotland in 2018, which was sponsored by the Law Society of Scotland. While the purpose of the Law Clinic is not about winning awards, it was a wonderful recognition for all our current, as well as former, managers and volunteers who have invested so much of their personal time in working for the common good over the last five years.