Pro Bono Projects

Pro Bono Student

The Public Law Project- Exceptional Funding

The UCL Centre for Access to Justice has partnered with the Public Law Project on a unique and important project to mitigate the effects of the legal aid reforms on the most disadvantaged in society.  The main objective of the project is to provide valuable assistance to those who have been denied legal aid under the new legal aid scheme, by assisting them with applications for exceptional funding.

The Justice Gap Advice Guide

This project is run in collaboration with The Justice Gap and Hackney Community Law Centre. UCL students are researching and writing a 30,000 word guide to legal rights for young people in Hackney. The aim is to explain key concepts of law, how it relates to their lives, and encourage young people that a career in law is accessible to people from all backgrounds.  The project has also involved events in local schools in Hackney to disseminate information and conduct ongoing research on young people's view and experiences of the law.


A student-led initiative, the Grassroots project aims to raise awareness of human rights issues with secondary school pupils in Greater London. The project consists of both law and non-law students, who design their own lesson plans in accordance with an overarching syllabus. The interactive course runs for 6 weeks and includes debates, drama and mock trial scenarios. The project culminates in a schools debating tournament held at UCL.  The project currently consists of 40 students and is currently running in 4 schools. 

Buddy Days with IntoUniversity

The aim of this project is to ‘inspire secondary school students to view university as a viable opportunity and help them fulfil their full potential’. Students work with IntoUniversity which collaborates with schools from widening participation backgrounds and aims to not just let young people see university as a future goal but inspire them to have positive ambitions for the future.  Each UCL student is paired up with 2 school students for the day and they conduct tours on campus, give presentations and conduct workshops.

Crime and Citizenship Scheme

The Law Society provides volunteers for this project, run by the Crime and Citizenship Society at UCL (overseen by VSU).  Students are trained by the society itself, to deliver interactive sessions to primary school students about criminal law and their citizenship rights.

Freelaw Shadowing Scheme

As part of this shadowing experience, students undergo training with the  trainees from Clifford Chance and attend Citizens Advice Clinic sessions over a five week period. Cases deal with all areas of law across the social welfare spectrum (housing, benefits, employment and family law). During this time, students have the opportunity to observe advice giving as well as being tasked with carrying out ad hoc pieces of research or drafting for the solicitors as requested.

Royal Courts of Justice Citizens Advice Bureau

This initiative with Slaughter and May gives students have the opportunity to shadow solicitors as they advise clients at the Royal Courts of Justice on debt, benefits, housing, and employment issues. 

Pathways to Law

UCL students act as mentors to prospective law students thorough the Pathways programme. As part of the programme we run a Human Rights Masterclass each year where school students have the opportunity to explore human rights issues by way of debate and discussion and receive an introduction in the study of Human Rights and Public Law at University level.

LLM Social Welfare Clinic

The UCL Centre for Access to Justice has partnered with the Free Representation Unit to offer up to ten LLM students the opportunity to undertake supervised pro bono casework.  Students will represent clients in respect of benefits applications and appeals at Social Security Tribunal. They will interview and advise clients, research and write legal arguments and conduct advocacy in areas including incapacity benefit, disability living allowance, housing and council tax benefits. Students working in this clinic represent clients both in the first-tier and upper tribunals.  The CAJ partnership involves added supervision and management by FRU legal officers.  


The UCL Centre for Access to Justice will launch a freely available information resource on Alternative Dispute Resolution for members of the public, charities, third sector organisations, practitioners, academics, and students in 2014. A source of both independent and impartial information, the website is a highly valuable resource in the current context of increasing recourse to ADR as a result of cuts to legal aid. Under supervision, a team of students will research, edit and update the website to include the most recent policy papers, court cases and commentary on ADR across a diverse range of areas. Students will also assist in developing an important public legal information section on ADR in areas such as benefits, health and social care, housing and homelessness, employment and family law.

Page last modified on 20 sep 13 16:04