Bristol Law Society is strongly supportive of the work of the Avon & Bristol Law Centre. With proposed funding cuts, the Centre is looking for support from local practitioners as Trustees and as Volunteers. Here, Clare Carter of Avon & Bristol Law Centre talks about the work of volunteer solicitors.
For over 20 years solicitors from private practice in Bristol have been providing free legal advice through the Law Centre’s volunteer solicitor scheme.
On a Monday and Tuesday evenings the Law Centre provides one off appointments to clients who would not otherwise afford to be able to access legal advice. These sessions currently relate to family, employment, personal injury and civil litigation.
The economic climate and the raft of legislative changes being introduced have resulted in a huge demand for law centre services, particularly in employment. As a result we are now looking to expand our volunteer solicitor scheme with additional sessions and areas of law.
The solicitors who currently volunteer at the law centre are very positive about the experience. Steve Duddell from Metcalfes solicitors who volunteers at the law centre says “Attending as a volunteer puts me in touch with people who would otherwise not find it easy to speak to or pay for a specialist solicitor. I’ve worked with many advice organisations over the years and value the opportunity to support an indispensible resource, particularly in these challenging times”
The Law Centre has also recently expanded its community groups legal advice project which gives advice to charities. We are looking for solicitors to assist with some of the more complex issues which charities present with. Work carried out by solicitors as law centre volunteers is covered by the law centre’s professional indemnity insurance. Graham Partridge, one of the advisers to community groups says “the kinds of issues which charities are presenting with are becoming more complex, many have commercial disputes or insolvency issues as well as charity or company law issues”
We would be keen to hear from you if you have experience in any of the following areas – employment, commercial litigation, dispute resolution, civil litigation, landlord and tenant, insolvency, trusts, immigration, company law or charity law.
For an informal discussion or to find out more please contact Clare Carter on 0117 9167710 or at firstname.lastname@example.org