Module insight: Justice and Practice – Community Legal Clinic
The Justice and Practice – Community Legal Clinic module gives you the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the world of a legal practitioner by working in our pro bono legal clinic.
This module begins with intensive workshops to build your skills and knowledge of relevant areas of the law. You’ll then apply these skills through interviewing clients, researching areas of law, and providing practical and expert legal advice to members of the public.
Don’t worry – you’ll be fully supervised at each step by academics, volunteer qualified lawyers or legal experts.
Preparing you for legal practice
The skills you’ll develop on this module are directly transferable to your future career in the legal profession. This practical experience is so valuable, and something you can draw from in your solicitor or barrister training.
Not only will you develop a mixture of soft skills such as client management, relationship building and interviewing, you’ll also build knowledge relating to various areas of law. These include housing, family, consumer rights, victims’ right to review and employment law.
The University of Brighton Legal Clinic is run by a qualified and practising solicitors, and each matter you’re involved with follows the same case management process as you’d experience in practice. You’ll be required to review client files, prepare for and run the client interview, conduct and draft legal research, formulate a letter of advice to the client based on that research, and then close the file.
What our students say
- “It has given me real life experience that will be looked on favourably by employers.”
- “I am now confident in client interviewing, dealing with difficult team members and adapting the way you conduct interviews dependent on the situation at hand 100 percent.”
- “The practical element of clinic enables students to prepare for work in the real world” and “definitely will help with employability factor as it provides practical work experience which many other students may not have had the chance to do.”
- “It is amazing being able to research the law and see how it is applicable/benefits real life clients. It is very rewarding work and provides insight into the sorts of situations and people you will be dealing with when in practice.”
- “This module has been incredibly stimulating in terms of practical learning. It has allowed me to apply the law in real–life scenarios and I feel this has really set me up for a future career in law.”
Making a positive impact
It is considered to be a British value that individuals should have a right to access justice, but the cost of legal advice can be a barrier for many.
Through this module students work with real clients, providing them with the legal advice that clients would otherwise be unable to access because of the financial costs.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
Our pro bono legal clinic meets the following UN global goals:
- Decent work and economic growth – standard eight
- Reduced inequalities – standard 10
- Peace, justice and strong institutions – standard 16
- Partnerships for the goals – standard 17
 The Bach Report, spearheaded by Lord Bach and debated by the House of Lords, noted that reforms to the provision of legal aid introduced in 2011 tightened the financial eligibility criteria for receiving legal aid and resulted in a reduction in the range of issues for which civil legal aid was available. The result is that those who cannot afford to pay for legal advice, may find it difficult to obtain it.
 The Rule of Law, which can be defined using the Professor A V Dicey’s definition (1885), that: no man could be lawfully interfered or punished by the authorities except for breaches of law established in the ordinary manner before the courts of land; no man is above the law and everyone, whatever his condition or rank is, is subject to the ordinary laws of the land; and the result of the ordinary law of the land is constitution.