UCL East


Centre for Access to Justice and Integrated Legal Advice Clinic

Located within the UCL Faculty of Laws, the Centre for Access to Justice combines innovative teaching and research-based learning with the provision of pro bono legal advice to local communities.

The Centre offers a broad range of extra-curricular pro bono projects for students spanning areas of social welfare, immigration, human rights, public legal education and outreach.

The award-winning Integrated Legal Advice Clinic (iLAC) in east London forms a core part of the Centre’s activities and takes a comprehensive approach to client needs, offering initial advice through to casework and representation. Based in Stratford, the clinic serves the local community by linking the academic and the practical, placing students directly in a learning environment where they address the ways in which the law can be used to tackle social problems.

Its approach builds on Professor Dame Hazel Genn’s research, which showed how people’s legal problems, when left unresolved, tended to cluster and cascade into other areas of life, such as health.

Key information

UCL Faculty: Centre for Access to Justice, UCL Laws
UCL leads: Rachel Knowles, Pofessor Dame Hazel Genn KC
Buildings: Solar House, Stratford
Focus area: law; legal aid; social justice
Website: www.ucl.ac.uk/access-to-justice/ 

Under the supervision of the Clinic’s Head of Legal Practice, Rachel Knowles, and her team of experienced social welfare solicitors and advisers, students learn to support clients through difficult to navigate legal proceedings which affect everyday life, such as securing welfare benefits or ensuring housing is fit for habitation. Interventions such as free legal advice and representation at court hearings can mean the difference between having a home and homelessness. The clinic also has a legal aid contract, allowing students to learn the realities of providing legal aid services and allowing the clinic to litigate on behalf of clients where needed.

Working closely with the local voluntary sector, the Clinic supports those for whom legal advice is difficult to access.

The Centre is dedicated to addressing social welfare issues which are increasingly common in today’s society. As part of the UCL East campus, it is one of the integral projects enabling UCL to support local communities.

UCL iLAC is committed to social justice education, to allow students the opportunity to experientially learn about social welfare law at a time when the profession itself is under threat. Students appreciate the chance to give back to the local community and make a real impact through the work they do.- Rachel Knowles, CAJ Head of Legal Practice