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Small Grant kickstarts successful UCL Legal Advice Clinic

27 March 2017

A small grant from the Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing helped to kickstart the UCL Legal Advice Clinic (UCL LAC) which has just celebrated assisting its 100th client.

Launched in January 2016 by the UCL Faculty of Laws, UCL LAC has expanded the Faculty's research-based teaching and learning programmes through the provision of free legal advice and assistance in UCL Laws' own  advice clinic based in Newham, London. The UCL LAC is singular in its integration of a student legal advice clinic into a health centre co-located with a GP practice allowing students to gain a unique perspective on solving legal problems and improving wellbeing.

A grant of £4,000 was awarded to Professor Dame Hazel Genn (UCL Laws) and Professor Martin Marshall (UCL Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health) by the Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing in 2015-16. This grant supported a project entitled 'Improving health and wellbeing through the provision of in-house legal advice within a GP surgery'. This was part of the early work of UCL LAC, according to Shiva Riahi, manager of the UCL Centre for Access to Justice.

Shiva says, "the Grand Challenges grant was hugely helpful in helping us to identify the early challenges and exploring methods to set up an initial framework for a research project and ethics application. The early work supported by Grand Challenges formed the basis of a successful funding application which has funded a research associate and been hugely helpful in furthering our research activities."

As the UCL LAC reaches the milestone of 100 clients assisted, the Grand Challenges are proud to have played a small part in this exciting cross-disciplinary initiative. By working across traditional academic boundaries - in this case law and medicine - we are able to achieve more than the sum of our parts.

Find out more about the UCL Legal Advice Clinic