UCL 2034


Improving access to justice

Principal theme: London’s Global University

Ayesha Malik

Thirty UCL Laws students gave free legal advice to Newham residents in early 2015 as part of a new UCL Legal Clinic in the area.

From January to March 2015, UCL undergraduate and Master of Laws students gave legal advice on a voluntary basis at a new UCL Legal Clinic. The clinic was open to the patients of a Newham GP practice and the students volunteered for three hours every week for four weeks.

Ayesha Malik, a Master of Laws student specialising in international law, was a general adviser at the legal clinic, helping clients with housing and welfare issues to navigate the law.

" I had the opportunity to interact directly with clients, ask them questions and, after discussing with the supervising lawyer, deliver the advice. It was a rewarding and enriching experience and I had the chance to hone my research skills in areas of law (particularly housing) in which I had scant knowledge. I think I benefited most of all from the supervising lawyer who had 20–30 years of experience in housing law and was very willing for us to take the lead in giving advice and asking questions after she had explained the legal issues. It was really great to see how empowered the clients were after having their issues listened to and being told what they could do about it.” Ayesha Malik - UCL Master of Laws student

Some 30 students took part in the programme, and many gave advice, under guidance, to clients. The initiative has been so successful that Shiva Riahi, Manager and Research Associate of the UCL Centre for Access to Justice, hopes to allow clients from other GP practices to use the clinic too.

Image: Ayesha Malik © UCL Laws


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