The Legal Advice Centre at Royal Holloway, University of London, provides free legal advice and information to the general public.
We engage in collaborative partnerships with various organisations to provide our undergraduate students with opportunities to gain practical experience in the field of law and actively contribute to the promotion of social justice.
Our Legal Advice Centre’s services
Our Student Advisors are not qualified professionals, but they receive appropriate training and are supervised by practising solicitors.
Our Legal Advice Centre does not hold itself out as a law firm. We are not a solicitors’ practice, and we are not regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Our solicitors, however, are all bound by professional standards and regulations, and we provide a standard of service that is similarly required of any legal service.
Our service area is England, and we can only advise on areas of law relevant to this service area.
We offer initial advice and information to clients in the following areas of law:
- Contract / consumer
We can offer advice on consumer rights where a consumer has a dispute about a contract to buy goods or services.
Please note that we cannot assist where court proceedings have already been issued, on debt matters or where the matter is a more complex commercial dispute.
- Landlord and tenant
We can offer tenants advice on disrepair and issues with landlords and tenancies. We cannot assist where tenants are facing imminent eviction or homelessness. We are not able to advise homeowners or landlords.
We aim to offer introductory family advice on issues such as: divorce and separation, financial disputes, maintenance, ending a civil partnership, cohabitation issues and child contact arrangements.
- General information
We may provide signposting and referrals on areas of law where we cannot offer advice.
Please note that we offer advice only, which means we do not undertake casework or provide representation.
We cannot accept urgent or complex cases.
Availability of sessions and booking information
Appointments are typically scheduled on Wednesday afternoons, 1.30 p.m. – 4.30 p.m. during our university term time. See availability below.
Legal Advice Centre - session dates and how to book
We appreciate your interest in booking an appointment with our Legal Advice Centre. Available dates can be seen below.
Wednesday 8 November 2023
Wednesday 15 November 2023
Wednesday 22 November 2023
Wednesday 29 November 2023
Wednesday 6 December 2023
Wednesday 17 January 2024
Wednesday 24 January 2024
Wednesday 31 January 2024
Wednesday 7 January 2024
Wednesday 14 February 2024
Wednesday 28 February 2024
Wednesday 6 March 2024
Wednesday 13 March 2024
Wednesday 20 March 2024
Wednesday 27 March 2024
To book an appointment with our student advisors on the available dates listed above, please contact us by email at LAC@royalholloway.ac.uk and provide us with a concise summary of your case.
We will conduct a preliminary assessment of your situation. If we find that our services align with your needs, and depending on availability, we will offer you an appointment.
Appointments can be conducted via MS Teams or in-person at our campus.
What to expect during your appointment
A group of Student Advisors along with the Supervising Solicitor will be present during your appointment.
Our Student Advisors will take your instructions to gain a comprehensive understanding of your case. Please note that advice will not be provided during this initial appointment.
Following your appointment, our team will review your matter. If your matter is suitable for our assistance, we aim to provide you with written advice within four weeks of your appointment.
In certain situations, we may offer a second appointment to explain the written advice provided to you.
If we are unable to provide you with written advice, we may refer you to one of our partner law firms for initial free telephone consultation. We will obtain your written authority before referring your matter.
Where your interview is being conducted via Teams, once a convenient date and time has been agreed, you will be sent a Teams invite.
If your interview is being conducted in person:
Upon arrival, please report to the Visitors' Centre, Founder’s Building, where you will be greeted by one of our Student Volunteers.
If you require a parking space on campus, please contact us at least 48 hours in advance of your session, so that we can make the necessary arrangements.
Instances where we cannot assist
There are certain circumstances where we may not be able to advise you. These include:
- Instances of conflict of interest.
- Urgent matters requiring immediate guidance.
- Needs for representation in court proceedings.
- Complex matters that surpass our capacity.
If, for any reasons, we cannot advise you or refer you to our partner law firms, we will let you know and offer relevant referral sources to assist you further.
Your privacy and personal information
In order to effectively address your inquiry, we might require certain personal information from you to assess the feasibility of providing assistance and to identify any potential conflicts of interest. Your personal information is collected, processed, and utilised in adherence with data protection laws.
Please note that if you do not provide us with certain essential personal information, we may not be able to conduct essential checks, and this could mean we cannot assist you.
For detailed information on how we manage the data you provide, we encourage you to review our privacy notice. This notice outlines how we manage and safeguard the information you share with us, ensuring your privacy and data security are maintained.
University of London Refugee Law Clinic
The University of London (UoL) Refugee Law Clinic provides pro bono legal advice for appeal rights exhausted (ARE) clients based on a model of Clinical Legal Education for its diverse student body. Delivered in partnership with two law firms, the Refugee Law Clinic also provides the opportunity for lawyers to undertake pro bono work within the clinic.
The clinic’s main legal focus is preparing and advising on fresh claims for asylum, an area identified as underserviced in the current legal landscape, and aims to complement the work of law firms and other service providers in London.
The Refugee Law Clinic contributes much-needed pro bono legal services to asylum seekers in London and develops partnerships towards this objective. From conducting a mapping exercise of the legal landscape in London, the area of fresh claims was found to be the greatest area of legal need. Providing such a service complements the work of law firms and help to fill a key gap in existing service provision.
Through its outreach activities the clinic also seeks to support a number of organisations through developing referral systems and providing legal awareness-raising.
Clinical Legal Education programmes are highly beneficial and formative for law students, developing experience and interest in social justice work. Law clinics also contribute to the legal landscape through test cases, research and reflection on law practice and reform.
About the Role
Each year, around 50 UoL students (from the 10 participating Member Institutions) work in the clinic. Students work on cases in groups of up to four, alongside volunteer lawyers from commercial law firms, and under the direct supervision of the supervising lawyer. Students are trained in the relevant law and policy, as well as a range of other areas such as practical skills, ethics and professional responsibilities.
Students are involved in working on the various aspects of preparing a fresh claim submission for appeal rights exhausted asylum seekers. The work might include research, gathering evidence and drafting submissions, as well as interviewing and taking witness statements and reviewing past decision making. Students will also be involved in managing the administration of the clinic.
It is expected that students will work in the clinic for around a half-day per week for a period of up to one academic year.
The clinic is located in the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies building in Russell Square, London, however, in light of the changing Coronavirus regulations, the clinic will operate with a mixed model of virtual and face-to-face where appropriate.
Focus of work
Initially, the primary focus of the clinic is on Further Submissions for Fresh Claims for asylum.
Submitting a ‘fresh claim for asylum’ is the process by which a declined asylum-seeker seeks to advance further representations to make a fresh claim on the basis of important new factors (such as changed circumstances, additional evidence, etc.). A successful fresh claim can lead to a grant of refugee status or humanitarian protection. A claim that is accepted can also give rise to a further in country right of appeal.
Training and Supervision provided
The Refugee Law Clinic is structured as a direct legal service provider and is regulated by the OISC. All work will be overseen by a supervising lawyer, supported by a coordinator and advice will be issued on the clinic’s letterhead and under the clinic’s supervising lawyer’s name.
All students will be expected to undergo training covering key information and skills including:
• Introduction to Asylum Law
• Fresh Claims in Practice
• Gathering and Assessing Evidence
• Practical Skills
• Working as a Lawyer
Partnerships and Patrons
Our Legal Advice Centre has the following professional partnerships, and is grateful for the support and assistance it receives:
We are grateful to our Patron, David Head, Duncan Lewis Solicitors, who provides his time and assistance to us.